A competition, which is open to teams of apprentices from all UK manufacturing sectors, will ask the apprentices to study existing research and activities in this area and create novel manufacturing ideas and build a demonstrator based on either of the following two scenarios:
a) Assuming a small human colony is already set-up on the moon, what manufacturing would you propose to make the colony self sustaining?
b) What manufacturing with local resources would you propose on the moon which is not possible on Earth?
A team of national judges will select the winner. Awards will be presented at Cranfield University on 20 May 2014.
Manufacturing on the moon is an ambitious project, say the boffins at Cranfield, “but is necessary to exploit opportunities on the moon for the benefit of us on the Earth. Lunar resources will become a vital element in space exploration and colonisation of the Moon in the 21st century. The development and operation of manufacturing plants on the moon able to produce equipment, housing and spare parts locally to support a permanently manned lunar base is a distinct opportunity.
“Research groups around the world are looking to utilise the low gravity level (1/6th of Earth) on the moon to develop novel manufacturing technologies for lunar application (such as 3D printing) and construction structures and manufacturing techniques. Mining of lunar materials has attracted research teams to develop a new generation of mining equipment that could actually be manufactured and assembled on the moon.”
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.