I'm reading all kinds of things about mining water from the Permanently Shadowed Regions of the moon -- the bottoms of craters near the poles -- and I'm thinking Um, guys? It's 30 degrees Kelvin down there! That's 10 degrees colder than a bad night on Pluto!
What battery will function at that temperature? What material will not shatter? What lubricant works at thirty degrees from Absolute Zero?!? I have looked around for research and found nothing -- except an article about a bipedal robot in Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) that set a new record by walking for more than an hour at 8 below zero Fahrenheit before it died.
OK, terrific. Two hundred and twenty degrees to go.
Does anyone know of any research that has been done in this area? Any reason to believe we could ever do anything at all in such places?