Researchers in Hannover, Germany have documented that a worldwide imitation of Regolit can be liquefied through laser / lunar tests with real materials planned for 2021.
International space agencies and businesses are planning to colonize space. The moon is of great importance as a research station and starting point for future discoveries. However, the shipping cost is huge – one kilogram of loading capacity costs around 700,000 Euros. Therefore, infrastructure, components and devices etc. At best, it could be produced directly on Earth’s satellite. This is where the “Moonrise” technology comes into play: “We want to bring the laser system called regolit, which is expected to melt the moon dust, to the Moon.” Niklas Gerdes from Hannover Laser Center (LZH), “This is Additive Manufacturing, the first step in bringing 3D printing to the moon,” he says. In this way, together with scientists from the Institute of Space Systems (IRAS) of the Technical University Braunschweig, he wants to prove that: A laser system weighing no more than 3 kilograms and with the volume of a large juice package lowers fusible local raw materials to the moon and then turns them into versatile structures.
The first lunar mission of the new Space company PTScientists in 2021 offers Lower Saxon researchers a unique opportunity to test their pioneering technology under real conditions.
Specifically, scientists from Braunschweig and Hannover want to melt regoliths to the lunar surface in a controlled manner using laser systems.
The Moonrise project has been going on for about 9 months. Tests in the so-called Einstein elevator under microgravity have shown that the laser can in principle melt regolith mimics under lunar conditions. Also, other results of the tests were promising: The laboratory setup was adapted, the appropriate laser equipment was determined, the optics were designed and tested. The device scientists have created and used for tests increasingly resembles real regoliths on the moon. They are currently working on adapting the laser to the loading area of the moon tool. The laser is integrated in a tunnel below the navigator.
After adjustments, the entire system is tested for space suitability: because on the way to the moon, the laser system must withstand impacts and large temperature differences.