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Oxygen Production in the Moon-Extended Summary

Oxygen Production in the Moon-Extended Summary - Oxygen on...

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- 1 - Oxygen on the Moon Oxygen on the Moon Group 3 Group 3 Ross Allen Blair Apple Blair Apple Mariana Dionisio Mariana Dionisio Brian Pack Brian Pack Michelle Rose Michelle Rose Tyler Watt Tyler Watt
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- 2 - Table of Contents Introduction ..................................................................................................................... - 3 - Background ............................................................................................................. - 3 - Reaction Options ............................................................................................................. - 4 - Lunar Soil ................................................................................................................ - 4 - Reduction of Volcanic Glass with Hydrogen ......................................................... - 4 - Water Splitting ........................................................................................................ - 4 - Pyrolysis .................................................................................................................. - 5 - Reaction Information ...................................................................................................... - 5 - Reaction Kinetics .................................................................................................... - 6 - Reaction Optimization ............................................................................................ - 6 - Figure 1: Reaction time at varying reactor operating pressures and volumes ...- 7 - Process Design ................................................................................................................ - 7 - General Process Considerations .............................................................................. - 7 - Design Process Flow Diagram ................................................................................ - 8 - Figure 2: Overall process flow diagram ............................................................. - 8 - Raw Materials ......................................................................................................... - 8 - General Reactor Design .......................................................................................... - 9 - Diffusion model .................................................................................................. - 9 - Figure 3: Concentration profile in the ilmenite bed throughout the reaction ..- 10 - Final Reactor Design ............................................................................................. - 11 - Figure 4: Fixed Bed Batch Reactor ................................................................... - 11 - Heat Transfer Systems .................................................................................................. - 12 - Reactant Heating ................................................................................................... - 12 - Condenser System ................................................................................................. - 12 - Figure 5: Condensing Heat Exchanger Process Flow Diagram ....................... - 13 - Electrolysis Chamber .................................................................................................... - 13 - Oxygen Storage ............................................................................................................. - 14 - Figure 6: PFD of modified Claude liquefaction process .................................. - 14 - Habitat ........................................................................................................................... - 15 - Economic Analysis ....................................................................................................... - 15 - Conclusions ................................................................................................................... - 16 -
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- 3 - Introduction Humans venturing into space have generally relied solely on equipment and supplies that were transported directly from earth. While this strategy has proven to be suitable for brief exploration trips to the moon or operations in earth orbit, new technology will be necessary for the recently proposed, long-term lunar exploration missions. Transporting material from the earth to the moon costs approximately $25,000 per pound. The ability to effectively utilize local lunar resources will be critical to long-term human occupancy of the moon, as well as other planetary explorations. This project is focused on the extraction of oxygen to directly support early human habitation on the moon. Background A strong renewal of interest in space exploration has begun since President George W. Bush announced on January 15, 2004 that the United States would begin to develop a new space exploration vision. President Bush announced that the US would begin the development of the technologies required to return to the moon by 2015 and maintain a permanent lunar outpost. The new lunar landing missions will be used as a spring board into a series of manned Mars missions. This new vision of space exploration is currently being studied and developed by The President’s Commission on Moon, Mars, and Beyond. The goal of the commission is to develop an exploration plan that will be not only technically feasible but also economically attainable. Both of these goals are considered throughout this report as the lunar oxygen production process is designed. There are numerous technological goals that must be accomplished before any large missions can be launched to the moon, for example a new generation of heavy launch vehicles must be designed and constructed. The Saturn V rocket which launched the Apollo missions can no longer be built. The redesign and construction of these new launch vehicles is expected to cost on the order of $50 billion.
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