SPS Built of Lunar Materials. Space Studies Institute RFP 1984

Transportation and logistics techniques for delivery of lunar and Earth materials to the SPS construction site have been studied extensively. Viable lunar material delivery techniques include use of a lunar surface Mass- Driver, or a chemical or ion propelled rocket that employs some (or all) lunar derived propellants. An SPS constructed primarily of lunar resources still requires some small percentage of Earth materials and sophisticated components. Delivery of these Earth supplies is assumed to be accomplished by the Space Shuttle or a Shuttle-derived vehicle, and an upper-stage vehicle of conventional near-term design. For purposes of this study, it should be assumed that these techniques are adequate. No evaluation or assessment of transportation or logistics methods is required as part of this study. Lunar surface or in-space manufacturing methods using lunar materials have also been studied. Favored approaches are highly automated and take advantage of the space environment, i.e., use of vacuum deposition to produce sheet stock, and foamed glass production in zero-gravity. For this proposal, it should be assumed that suitable stock production techniques do exist, and that proposed end products only need be assessed for their applicability to manufacture and/or assembly via automated methods. G. GUIDELINES Nine guidelines are offered, based on a few overall lessons learned in prior studies. These are not intended to constrain new thinking, but a bidder who wishes to modify any of the guidelines should present, in his proposal, the rationale for doing so. 1) The study is intended to identify concepts for production as a commercial profit-making venture on the earliest possible time scale.