Covered Roads

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  • On Luna people will want smooth roads that are dust free and do not buckle or crack with the monthly temperature changes. This can be achieved by shading the pavement from the sun and insulating it from the night sky with an awning. Retaining the vacuum environment is cheaper than making a pressure vessel, and has advantages in not introducing wind resistance to vehicles. Pavement can be had by melting the soil. To reduce overall brittleness, bricks of pavement could be held together by lunar cement. To reduce the temperature extremes that this pavement is subjected to, the road could be covered with corrugated sheets of glass, much like a very long quonset hut. If instead of the corrugations running exactly in the circumferential direction, they take a helical path over the semi cylindrical covering of the road, then alternate sheets of right hand and left hand spiraling corrugations could be laid over one another and automatically assume the correct layer spacing. Perhaps just two layers of corrugated glass sheet and a covering of fines from the lunar soil would provide adequate protection from micrometeoroids, dust, ultraviolet and other radiations that charge up dust particles, and thermal variations. Three electrical transmission rails could run down the length of the road to power vehicles. South bound vehicles on the west side of the road would use the west side of the center rail. In the vacuum large diameter wheels with the thin rim and tire magnetically suspended from the nonrotating hub would require no grease and would allow speeds over 300 kilometers per hour. It would be much like a magnetically levitated train with the rail picked up behind the wheel hub and laid down in front of it. Perhaps elevated Railroads would be a better option. It would depend upon the cost of iron rails on a supporting framework compared to the cost of glass block paving and glass roofing.

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