Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
Journal of space craft and rockets, V. 48, No. 2, pp.378-384, 2011
The Earth’s industrial exploitation of the moon requires a hermetically sealed structure large enough for all services: the life-support systems, energy-producing units, the storage of air and water, a greenhouse, and so on. The best way to achieve this is a light inflatable structure, which is transported to the moon in a packed position. The construction material has to be soft at deployment and made rigid at exploitation. One way of making the deployed structure rigid is a chemical reaction that forms a hard frame for the construction. However, a previous project based on an external hermetically sealed pocket experienced problems as a result of high pressure due to evaporation of the low-molecular-weight mass fractions of the uncured matrix and the resultant uncontrolled deployment of the inflatable structure. A structure is proposed in which the frame wall is external to the wall of the structure, which would eliminate the problem of uncontrolled inflation but requires that the structure be cured in a free-space environment.
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