There are Four Ways to Build with Regolith on the Moon

Based on the technical mechanisms of bonding and cohesion between particles, regolith solidification and formation technologies can be categorized into four groups: reaction solidification (RS), sintering/melting (SM), bonding solidification (BS), and confinement formation (CF) methods. Credit: Charun Bao

Over the last few years I have been renovating my home. Building on Earth seems to be a fairly well understood process, after all we have many different materials to chose from. But what about future lunar explorers. As we head closer toward a permanent lunar base, astronauts will have very limited cargo carrying capability so will have to use local materials. On the Moon, that means relying upon the dusty lunar regolith that covers the surface. Researchers have now developed 20 different methods for creating building materials out of the stuff. They include solidification, sintering/melting, bonding solidification and confinement formation. But of all these, which is the best?

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