Talk:Long Endurance Rovers

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Revision as of 17:48, 12 November 2008 by (talk)
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I don't have time to edit this page right now, so I'm going to summarize what I see as some of the problems.

The various sub-topics seem to be spread around at random
No mention is made of the Russian "Lunokhods" (generally considered teleoperated rovers, although they were provided with manual controls). Lunokhod 1 operated for almost a year, & Lunokhod 2 for about 6 months. Their landing sites were in relatively high latitudes, where the daytime temperature peaks are lower, & they hibernated during the night with a very clever mechanism (heat radiators were located under a "lid" which was opened when the interior got warm & shut when it got cold).
The cooling mechanism described for APOLLO is wrong. There was an "oxygen purge system" in the PLSS (backpack), but it was purely a backup in case of a failure of the primary system, which didn't actually happen. Suit cooling was provided by a flash-evaporator using water. The LEM was cooled primarily by radiation, with an evaporator for use under higher heat loads. (As a side comment, if we are going to waste anything, oxygen is not a bad choice, being the most abundant single element in Luna & one of the easiest to produce.)
Some of the items just don't belong in this article, e.g. the description of sun-shield berms (which work better in middle and high latitudes anyway).
The description of the "parabolic reflectors" is much too specific in terms of defining the shape, & in any case a diagram or sketch would be preferable. Excessive specificity strikes again elsewhere in the description -- it's not clear why the heat-circulating fluid should be "a mixture of water and ethylene glycol" rather than, say, alcohol, sodium-potassium alloy, or any of a number of other suitable liquids, or why it should be a liquid rather than a gas (e.g. helium), or a a phase-change fluid ("heat-pipe" radiators have proven very effective). "Sintered brick shelters" & "pumped storage of high-pressure oxygen", although possible approaches for night shelter & power storage respectively, are certainly not the only possible ones, & need evaluation.

-- publius 04:07, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the comments. Perhaps we can get this article up to higher standards. I agree that a sketch would be better than a word description of equations to be graphed. I am no artist, if anyone thinks they understand the shape and can draw it, the article can be improved. Specific solutions to cooling and shelter are only intended to show that at least some solutions exist as opposed to the lack of any solution being suggested in the Show Stoppers article previously. Wasting or lavishly expending oxygen is something to considered when there is an oxygen production plant operating on Luna. The first roving explorer robots and construction robots will need to get by on stuff shipped from Earth. All of the plentiful oxygen on Luna will stay locked in the rock until after the preliminary exploration.