USE OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL RESOURCES FOR MARS BASING
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The establishment of exploratory bases on the Moon and Mars will lead to complex logistics, if all supplies have to be provided from the Earth. Use of regeneration techniques to recover water and oxygen, and hydroponic gardening to grow food can reduce the logistics requirements. A further drastic reduction of space transportation costs can be achieved by using lunar and planetary resources for the local production of water, which together with its decomposition products represents over 90 of all the logistic needs of humans and which can also satisfy rocket propulsion needs for spacecraft if used in its dissociated state and liquefied form as LH2 and LO2. The use of locally-produced fuels will drastically change the operating modes. Locally produced chemical compounds suitable as fuels for spacecraft and extraterrestrial surface and flight vehicles or as nutrients for the local production of food and for the photosynthetic regeneration of oxygen are discussed. The early prototype development of mining, processing and regeneration equipment for the above purposes is encouraged.