Proposal: An automated device for the transformation of Lunar regolith into growing soil for human food production.
Rationale: Numerous studies have been conducted over several decades on the reconstitution of lunar regolith into workable farming soil. The time may have come to automate the best of the available state-of-the-art in this area of inquiry into a small and reliable processing facility for generating soil stockpiles. The general process would be as follows:
- Collect Lunar Regolith from the local area.
- Sift the collected regolith to appropriate granular size.
- Load sifted regolith into growth chambers.
- Add liquid growth medium and appropriate biomass seed to growth chambers.
- Inculcate growth of biomass plants to appropriate level of maturity.
- Empty growth chamber into grinder/composter and re-cycle biomass-enchanced regolith into growth chambers.
- Re-run Steps 4 through 6 until conditioned regolith qualifies as soil.
- Stockpile soil in storage facility.
Disciplines needed, subject to revision:
Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Botany, Hydraulics Design, Control System Design