A Solar Powered Station at a Lunar Pole

Arnold Reinhold 1990

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Confirmation of the presence of water ice crystals at the Lunar polar regions by NASA’s Lunar Prospector spacecraft has stimulated interest in colonizing the Lunar poles. While there is some controversy over the feasibility of extracting water from the low concentration of ice observed so far, there are other advantages to the poles as an initial location for a Lunar colony. Here are some ideas I had on that topic in 1990, including the feasibility of erecting a tower at the poles that would receive continuous sunlight. In a separate submission, I also proposed to deliver key light elements, thought then to be absent from lunar soil, at a much lower cost by building supply craft as much as possible out of plastic or wood. In December 1989, the Bush administration directed NASA to set up an Outreach Program to solicit ideas for future space exploration. The papers received were synthesized by a group led by former astronaut Gen. Thomas P. Stafford into a report titled America at the Threshold, Report of the Synthesis Group on America’s Space Exploration Initiative. The following papers were submitted to NASA on July 17, 1990 as part of that initiative, and is acknowledged, in fine print, on page A-51 of that report.