Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Instant Roads (On Luna And Mars) Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
(Hat Tip: IsraGood)

As any government official can tell you, creating and maintaining roads in a community can be quite expensive.

The problem only becomes much worse when one considers creating them off world, especially if humanity decides to build thriving colonies. These future space settlements will need a dependable transportation system in order to move goods around their respective globes.

While some have suggested that the easiest way to get around this is by constructing an off world railroad system, it may be easier to simply create instant roads instead (thanks in part to Professional Reinforcement Solutions).

(Israel 21st Century) Invented by the US military in the 70s, the continued innovation behind PRS's soil stabilization honeycombs is very much Israeli. Now used as a soil stabilizer in Siberia to help truckers get to isolated tracts of land, or in landscaping to prevent soil erosion, the high-tech honeycombed sheets, called the Neoweb Cellular Confinement System is "beyond clean technology," says Yitzchak Schary, documentation manager for Tel Aviv-based PRS.

Schary, who's consulted for Israel's Environmental Protection Ministry on Sustainable Development, speaks with ISRAEL21c about the innovation. Represented in 40 countries, the company's product is "actually low-tech, high tech and cleantech all in one," he says. "Although the product is fairly dry, it's a soil stabilization solution for civil engineering projects, and inherently sustainable."

Developed as an advanced polymer, Neoweb can be laid out on land, and then filled with local soil, or recycled materials to form a road, or as infrastructure for landscape architects.

Although adaptations will obviously have to be made to adapt this technology towards the vacuum of space and Martian weather, the technique behind it could be duplicated on both Luna (aka the Moon) and the red planet.

Colonists can use these "honey combs" to create and maintain roads inexpensively, which will help reduce the overall cost of building large settlements off world.

As far as the Moon goes, they could then melt down the top layer via microwaves in order to insure that rovers do not kick up too much lunar dust into the vacuum of space (which could become a hassle for travelers behind them).

While acquiring soil on Mars should be relatively easy (thanks in part to its thin atmosphere), Moon settlers will probably have to use lunar vacuum cleaners or soil acquired from innovative "air" drilling in order to help create various highways for rovers to travel upon.

This will enable outposts located at various locations around both the Moon and Mars to remain interconnected with each other, allowing them to thrive thousands (or millions) of kilometers away from Earth (without the sense of feeling isolated from the rest of the global community).

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1 comment:

  1. It looks like an improvement but it also looks far from "instant". We can't even make roads quickly in the developing world or keep roads in decent shape for more than a year or two in the developed world. When we are able to do that, we may be near being able to make roads on other planets.


You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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