Scholar's Advanced Technological System - Chapter 800
Chapter 800: Mining
Jinling Institute for Advanced Study.
Aerospace Science and Technology Institute director’s office.
After Hou Guang saw Lu Zhou’s proposal, he hesitated for a second before asking, “Mining on the Moon?”
Lu Zhou nodded and replied, “Yeah.”
Lu Zhou didn’t seem like he was joking. Hou Guang put on his glasses and began reading through the proposal abstract.
After a couple of minutes, he placed the proposal on the table and looked at Lu Zhou.
“I’ve finished reading the proposal… So… You want to design a device that can automatically mine shallow ore deposits on the Moon?”
Lu Zhou: “Correct.”
Lu Zhou is treating this so casually.
Hou Guang couldn’t help but smile.
“We have only just completed the first phase of the Moon Palace project, now we’re moving on the lunar mining… Are we moving too fast?”
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, “Not fast at all. The Moon Palace project itself is a project aiming toward the development of lunar resources. Now that the Magpie Bridge is in service, I think it is about time we move from lunar orbit to lunar surface.”
The 2020s was the beginning of the “Moon Age”.
If someone wanted to mine resources on the Moon a couple of years ago, it would be impossible to achieve. But in 2021, lunar mining was feasible.
NASA’s Lunar Gateway program, the Moon Express company receiving funding, the European Space Agency signing a contract with rocket manufacturer Ariane Group… These were all events that pointed toward lunar resource mining.
Take the MX series of detectors made by the Moon Express as an example. It was able to collect and retrieve 20kg of Moon rock samples. According to their research and development plan, they were focusing on mining shallow deposits in low gravity environments.
Of course, Lu Zhou didn’t care about his competitor’s actions; he just didn’t want to wait any longer.
The key to completing the second phase of the special “Control of Earth and Moon” mission chain was to build a semi-permanent scientific research station on the Moon.
If he only wanted to complete the main system mission, he could do it right now with Star Sky Technology’s current available technology.
However, he would be missing out on other rewards.
Some of the branch missions were impossible, but some might be achievable. Lu Zhou didn’t want to give up those mission rewards too easily.
One of the branch missions was to mine and smelt 100 tons of titanium alloy on the surface of the Moon, as well as collecting 50 tons of lunar soil.
Now that the first phase of the Moon Palace project was complete, the second phase was about to begin. They would require a lot of construction materials. Fortunately, the Moon happened to have an abundance of titanium ore reserves.
If they could use the Moon’s resources as construction materials and create a “self-sustaining” lunar construction system, they could greatly cut down the project costs.
Also, in Lu Zhou’s opinion, this was his only chance at expanding the Moon production scale.
Once the second phase of the Moon Palace project was complete, the remaining phase would be to modify the lunar space station.
By that time, he would no longer need an abundance of titanium alloy materials…
Of course, even though lunar mining was theoretically possible, there were many hurdles.
The low-temperature and low-gravity working environment of the Moon, the high staffing costs, and the automation technology requirements… These were all barriers that they had to overcome.
Hou Guang scratched his head and contemplated it for a second.
Lu Zhou suddenly threw this idea in his face, so he didn’t have any time to form an opinion. He said, “How about you leave the plan here with me? I’ll do some research on my own… However, industrial production is not my expertise, so I’ll have to consult experts.”
Lu Zhou nodded and said, “I’ve already done my research. This was discussed at the weekly Lunar Orbit Committee meeting. The theoretical research has already been done.”
He paused for a second before adding, “I’ll contact Shenyang Machine Tool as well as the two state aerospace companies. We won’t be alone in this project. The top industrial automation and aerospace equipment companies will help us. There will be at least three academicians involved, and I will be the project leader. You’ll have to handle some of the more troublesome parts. If you need more people, feel free to tell me.”
Hou Guang quickly said, “It’s fine, there are enough people!”
One academician would have a group of noob researchers working for them, not to mention scholars from the Changjiang Scholars Program, associate professors, post-doc fellows, and PhD students. One academician had an entire research army behind them.
And they had three academicians…
Coordinating the project teams would be a difficult task in and of itself.
Hou Guang couldn’t help but think.
Professor Lu is the only person in the world that can recruit three academicians so easily…
The same proposal plan appeared on the Chinese president’s desk.
After the president read the proposal, he took off his glasses and looked at Director Li of the State Administration for National Defense.
“Did Professor Lu write this?”
Director Li nodded and replied, “Yeah.”
“Has there been a meeting about this?”
“What do other experts think?”
“Academician Yuan from the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation thinks this is worth a try. Chief Engineer Yang Zhongquan of Shenyang Machine Tool agrees. Even though it will be difficult, it is not impossible. It will greatly help our country’s automation industry,” Director Li said.
After hearing Director Li, the president nodded.
“Our country is honored to have a scholar like Professor Lu.”
He picked up the pen from his table and signed the document. He then stamped it with a bright red stamp.