ua en ru

Railroad to possibly appear on Moon: Details revealed

Railroad to possibly appear on Moon: Details revealed Northrop Grumman will develop a railroad project on the Moon (Unsplash)
Author: Maria Kholina

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the United States Department of Defense has inked a contract with Northrop Grumman for the development of a lunar surface railway network concept. This agreement comes under the ambit of the Lunar Architecture for Near-term Exploration (LunA-10) program, according to the American defense contractor Northrop Grumman, specializing in electronics, information technology, and aerospace.

About future contract

Details of the contract remain classified. However, it outlines the tasks facing the contractor.

Northrop Grumman is tasked with developing a concept for the railway network, identifying interfaces and resources to be utilized, as well as compiling a list of projected costs, technological, and logistical risks. Additionally, prototypes need to be created to evaluate various concepts.

Furthermore, Northrop Grumman is to explore the feasibility of constructing such a network using only robots and ensure the capability for servicing and repairing the infrastructure.

While the realization of such a project in the near future remains unrealistic, DARPA is confident that when the need arises for transportation infrastructure for future lunar bases, the industry should be prepared to meet this challenge.

Prospects for Moon bases

The utilization of railway transport on the Moon holds promise. It would allow for the automation of logistical processes, reducing risks for humans during travel between lunar bases and cargo movement.

Currently, two groups of countries are actively working on establishing their bases in the vicinity of the Moon's South Pole. One group is participating in the United States' Artemis lunar program, while the other is led by China.