indigenous fuels

Spike Jones (
Wed, 21 Jul 1999 21:34:51 -0700

> wrote:... If rocket fuel can be produced from raw lunar
> soil, then this would substantially reduce the cost of maintaining
> this transport infrastructure considerably.

Ya, but our chances of making indigenous fuels muuuuch better on Mars than on the moon. The moon is both carbon poor and hydrogen poor. Plenty of silicon, plenty of oxygen (in the soil, SiO2) but a cursed shortage of good rocket fuel materials. With the little bit of carbon and hydrogen that is available, it is unclear to me you would want to use it up on rocket fuel. Mars, on the other hand has plenty of carbon, plenty of oxygen (in the form of iron oxides and buttloads of CO2), plenty of hydrogen (well, at least sufficient hydrogen). Im wondering what Dan Golden is thinking with his initiative to do the moon base first, instead of straight to Mars.