Cable-based lunar transportation system

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The establishment of an efficient transportation system is key to any human development on Earth or in space. Different technologies for transporting humans and goods have been developed, the diversity of which indicates that individual concepts have specific strengths and weaknesses. So far, transportation on the Moon has utilized a wheel-based vehicle, the lunar rover. Present concepts for transporting goods and people in a lunar base of the future are generally based on using wheels and traction. While such systems have many advantages for a variety of applications, the hauling of heavy goods will require the preparation of stable and trafficable roadways, a challenging and potentially expensive undertaking. This paper presents an alternative based on using one of the fundamental means to move objects, namely ropes and cables. Because of their inherent characteristics, ropes have been used to lift and haul heavy loads for long distances with high levels of reliability. This mature and constantly perfected technology, not well known in this car-oriented society, has been investigated for its use as a true alternative to the traditional wheel-based transportation systems. As will be shown, innovative applications of cable-based technologies may in effect provide many opportunities to leverage the differences between the Earth and the Moon for the purpose of creating efficient engineering products. © ASCE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aerospace Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes

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