This chapter discusses regolith utilization in habitat construction mainly from the point of view of radiation protection of humans on missions of long duration. It also considers other key properties such as structural robustness, thermal insulation, and micrometeoroid protection that all have to be considered in parallel when proposing regolith-based solutions. The biological hazards of radiation exposure on the Moon are presented and put in the context of lunar exploration-type missions and current astronaut career dose limits. These factors guide the research in radiation protection done with lunar regolith simulants, which are used in research and development activities on Earth due to the reduced accessibility of returned lunar samples. The ways in which regolith can be used in construction influence its protective properties. Areal density, which plays a key role in the radiation shielding capacity of a given material, can be optimized through different regolith processing techniques. At the same time, density will also affect other important properties of the construction, e.g. thermal insulation. A comprehensive picture of regolith utilization in habitat walls is drawn for the reader to understand the main aspects that are considered in habitat design and construction while maintaining the main focus on radiation protection.
Part of the book: Lunar Science