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Private and public institutions all over the world pursue one common mission: a manned station on the moon. The costs of rocket flights alone to transport such a station to the moon would be approximately EUR 1,000,000 per kilogramme. This is why numerous research teams around the world are working on solutions to use moon rock to manufacture 3D-printed structural components on-site. The MoonFibre project at RWTH Aachen University is developing a spinning system that will be able to produce fibres directly from lunar rocks. These fibres could be used not only to stabilise the 3D-printed structure of the lunar station, but also for thermal isolation, filter systems, or the textiles of astronaut suits. RWTH Aachen intends to further develop a spinning process already used in industry for basalt fibres as a compact and easily transportable system for use on the lunar surface. The spinning process is to be tested under zero gravity within an in-orbit demonstration experiment. The proof-of-concept will serve as the basis for the future on-site production of fibres and textiles on the moon.
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