1965-02-01

The Manufacture of Propellants for the Support of Advanced Lunar Bases 650835

The Aerojet Carbothermal Process for manufacture of oxygen from lunar resources has three essential steps: (1) reduction of silicate with methane to form carbon monoxide and hydrogen; (2) reduction of carbon monoxide with hydrogen to form methane and water; and (3) electrolysis of water to form oxygen and hydrogen. This cyclic process does not depend upon the presence of water or water precursors in the lunar materials; it will produce oxygen from silicates regardless of their precise composition and fine structure.
Estimates are made of weight, power, and labor requirements for the operation of three different size lunar chemical plants for the manufacture of propellant oxygen from lunar raw materials.

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