The moon is largely made up of metal oxides that could yield new supplies of platinum — perhaps enough to drive prices for the precious metal down to $300 from $1,400 an ounce today. Processing metals on the moon does not require chemicals. Different levels of heat can be used to make different metals. Cheaper platinum will make fuel cells that are so much more effective than combustion engines.
Today’s super-strength metal alloys including all jet turbines use at some stage of other development vacuum processes that would be cheaper to handle on the moon.
As chief executive of Skycorp, Wingo is currently bidding on a project to make satellites on the International Space Station. He sees even greater opportunities making vehicles using moon metals as materials in 3D printers.
Wingo imagines governments commissioning data centers on the moon linked with laser communications that keep data safe in the event of a nuclear war. He even foresees small space fabs for semiconductors.
Silicon-28 could be cost-effectively purified on the moon and used to make chips with 400-percent higher thermal conductivity than the silicon mixtures used on Earth.
Skycorp created a concept for a lunar lander with 80 kW fuel cell tanks that could provide more than 700 hours of power for ground operations. The vehicle’s cells could scavenge hydrogen and oxygen on the moon to provide standard 110/220/440 V AC power.