AME associate professor Jekan Thanga recently spoke on WBUR Radio about how existing resources on the moon can be used to facilitate semi-permanent structures in the near future. Thanga was joined by multiple space researchers and entrepreneurs.
For this interview, Thanga discussed how autonomous robots on the moon could create sandbags to construct things like warehouses on the moon. These structures would then be available for when humans later arrive on the lunar surface.
"You would bring fabrics and cloth from Earth. You can embed them with microelectronic sensors. And the idea here is to build smart building blocks using the sand and gravel or whatever mixture that you have there," Thanga said. "From there we can now start to build semi-permanent structures."
In addition to his research at UA, Thanga also heads the Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration Laboratory and the NASA-supported ASTEROIDS Laboratory.