Spinning plant under conditions like on the moon
The transport of payloads into space, e.g. for research missions or the construction and supply of manned lunar stations, poses immense economic challenges as well as technological and physical complexities. With payload costs of €1.1million/kg to the lunar surface, weight reduction is of utmost priority, especially concerning space projects that require large freight volumes. However, raw materials from the Moon or Mars in the form of regolith are suitable to produce habitat building materials, thus, reducing freight costs to ease and allow furthering missions into space. For this purpose, continuous mineral fibers, e.g. basalt fibers, can be utilized in situ to produce fiber composites, thermal insulation, filters and hydroponic mineral wool for plant cultivation, among other things. However, this requires an automated spinning unit that can operate under conditions found in space.