In all geologic time, the responsibilities are on our generation ... including you ...

4.3.4 Glasses

A great variety of glass products can be produced from lunar and asteroidal materials, including fiberglass, clear glass, and materials for items such as walls, pipes and some kinds of structural members.

Free natural glass is more common on the lunar surface than on Earth. The lack of water on the Moon has preserved these glasses from their volcanic inception billions of years ago and from asteroid impacts, in contrast to Earth where "devitrification" (i.e., decomposition by the chemical action of water in the environment) breaks down natural glass over the period of millions of years. This glass can be separated using simple electrostatic beneficiation.

On Earth, glass isn't used for structural applications because glass produced on Earth is heavily contaminated by water vapor present in the atmosphere which makes the material brittle, weak and prone to cracks. "Anhydrous" glass, i.e., glass produced in the absence of hydrogen or water, has significantly better mechanical properties. This has led some researchers to analyze the potential use of glasses for structural components, e.g., the General Dynamics report endorses use of foamed glass in solar power satellites, Blacic covers wider uses, and Carsley, Blacic and Pletka report on the mechanical properties of these materials produced from lunar simulants.

Manufacturing components from native glass

Source: General Dynamics/Convair report for NASA and US Dept. of Energy on making solar power satellites from lunar materials. Slightly reworded by Mark Prado for PERMANENT.

Soils rich in iron oxide (FeO) produce dark but mechanically strong glass-ceramics, whereas "colorless glass windows can be produced from basically anorthite alone or with small additions of CaO and/or SiO2. The expansion coefficient of such glasses is likely to be less than that of common window glass. This should be an asset for windows which will esperience large changes in temperature."

Clear, pure silica glass (SiO2) is readily manufacturable from lunar materials. Due to the lack of hydrogen, superior optical fibers can be readily produced.

Glasses, as opposed to glass ceramics, are produced by cooling the melted material faster to create a different crystalline structure. Good coverage of the field, including cooling rates required for different Apollo lunar compositions, is given by Pletka, as well as DeLa'O, Hellawell, Pletka and Rose.

There has also been discussed the prospects of foamed glass structural beams reinforced with asteroid nickel-iron steel so that the structural members could withstand a wide range of both tension and compression. > Manufacturing, Industry > Bulk Construction Materials > Glasses


PERMANENT needs a PHP / MySQL (actually, MariaDB) programmer. Are you a PHP / MySQL programmer interested in getting into space development as a career, or already working in space development? Or do you know somebody else who might be interested?

There is an ongoing process to update this website in 2019 with a target relaunch in 2020.
This website is actually very out of date. Much of the website text content was written in the 1980s to early 2000s, but that's a different matter. As regards PHP / MySQL, some offline databases go into the 2010s, as regards professional publications, engineers, companies, etc., and this is what we need programming help with. We are updating our databases on people, organizations, publications, and other things, for open source space development for all.

The current status is we have some working databases which we have been using internally for a long time for organizing professional publications, and to track people (authors, R&D people, other professionals, quality volunteers, journalists, etc.) and organizations. We want to put information online for the general public pending a security review of the programming code.

Step 1 is fixing some bugs in what we already have, the PHP code. It is functional, and been used a long time, but there are some bugs.
Step 2 will be improving the system. Some small improvements would help its usability.
Step 3 will be a security check for putting it online for the general public to be able to access and use, but with reasonable protection against hackers.
After Step 3, the main mission is accomplished, as regards PHP / MySQL, though of course we hope to keep people engaged and happy, and the sky's not the limit.

This is a volunteer, unpaid role at this point in time. A limited paid role would be considered on a tight budget, such as for at least bug fixing with some minor improvements, and/or a security review of our code before it goes online publicly. If you or one of your friends or associates may be interested, please send an email to spaceprogrammer at ... of course this domain.

Reasons to do something yourself:

  • It will help save life on our special planet -- be part of the solution in your generation.
  • It will create and secure a better future for your children and grandchildren.
  • It could be an interesting, cool, and a fun adventure for your life!

You can join us and volunteer to help out,

... or ...

If you're short on time, you can just donate:

The Permanent Space Development Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
If you would like to make a quick donation to our humanistic cause,
then please click on one of the buttons below (which go to PayPal).

... or by cryptocurrency (which is NOT tax deductible), you can donate into any of these wallets:





... or ...

Suggest this website to other people and organizations.

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If you are interested in hiring our expertise, anywhere in the world, please contact us.
We have people in the USA and Thailand, and can travel or consult by internet.
You can call anytime, 24/7, at +66-8-1135-7977

Text by Mark Prado, Copyright © 1983-2021, All Rights Reserved.
Many website artistic design elements by Sam Fraser, Copyright © 1999-2021, All Rights Reserved.

Except where specifically stated otherwise,
Copyright © 1983-2021 by Mark Evan Prado, All Rights Reserved


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