Researchers have proposed an innovative strategy to develop lunar pathways using focused sunlight, channeled to precise regions through massive lenses. Studies conducted on our planet show that focused sunlight can serve as a laser, fusing lunar soil into a substance suitable for constructing pathways.
Establishing such pathways would introduce new methods for moon exploration, especially as NASA and other organizations aim to set up lunar settlements. These pathways would present milder terrains for rovers and diverse vehicles, simplifying the transportation of crucial resources from one location to another.
The proposition revolves around utilizing the abundant lunar volcanic rocks spread across the Moon’s surface. Over time, cosmic collisions and radiation have transformed this volcanic rock into fine lunar dust, which is a significant challenge for spacecraft attempting lunar landings.
Nonetheless, a laser can convert this dust into a firm structure, facilitating the production of tiles that can be assembled to form lunar pathways.
The team tested various laser beam intensities and dimensions to mimic focused sunlight, discovering they could produce and link solid blocks, which could further be combined to form the desired lunar pathways. Such lunar pathways would enhance mobility on the moon’s surface.
The team’s discoveries were documented in the journal “Scientific Reports”. Liquifer, one of the collaborating companies, has produced videos highlighting the necessity for lunar pathways and potential methods for their creation.
Given NASA’s ambitions to establish lunar habitats by 2040, these pathways would assist future settlers in navigation. The entire concept is captivating, and its practical application on the Moon remains to be witnessed.
Still, terrestrial tests are offering valuable data. With continued research, we might soon have the means to lay pathways on the Moon as we prepare for potential lunar cities, making the once fantastical vision of lunar metropolises more conceivable than anticipated.