PISCES’ robotic rover Helelani is seen here on top of the lunar landing pad.
Japan’s space agency is researching the potential of making concrete out of materials found on the moon.
According to an article in the Nikkei Asian Review, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Materials are working together to find a way to create concrete blocks using lunar soil.
Proposals are in the works to construct a manned lunar base for mining and space observation in the 2030s. Mitsubishi Materials and JAXA foresee concrete being used for future infrastructure on the moon such as buildings and roadways.
The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) investigated a similar process during our Vertical Take-Off/Vertical Landing (VTVL) pad project in conjunction with Hawai’i County Research and Development, Honeybee Robotics, NASA, and Argo. ‘Ena Media Hawai’i was also a partner on the project.
The VTVL project focused on the robotic construction of a lunar landing pad using local resources. One hundred pavers made out of Hawaiian basalt were later placed together using our robotic rover, Helelani.
Below is a video describing this process.