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LUNAR EXCAVATION TECHNIQUES IN ROCK.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OHIO
Excavation techniques are studied to determine suitable methods for excavating rocks, like basalt, on the moon under lunar environmental conditions. Desired features are low weight, versatility, reliability, and efficiency. Areas considered are drilling, blasting and rock moving. A down-the-hole, rotary-percussive tool appears to be the most suitable drill. Other possibilities are shaped charge, rotary, percussive, and shot drills. Chemical high energy and nuclear explosives are examined for blasting effectiveness. Multiple hole placement of chemical explosives has considerable utility, while nuclear devices can excavate larger quantities of rock with less payload. Suitable rock moving equipment includes cable-controlled dragline buckets, lightweight hoes, tractor-shovels, bulldozers or dozer-rippers, and conveyor belts. Recommendations for further study are given. Author