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"I don't know why I write science fiction. The voices in my head told me to!"
- Charles Stross

Filling Station Moon  
  The idea that Man could first go to the Moon to obtain fuel or propellant.  

"...Then you are not going to the moon at all!"

"Oh, yes, for we unfortunately have to use it as a filling station."

"Why, do you think that -?"

"We do not think anything; we know that on the moon there is to be found what we need in order to produce our fuel by means of solar power. There is ice, which we shall decompose electrolytically into its components, hydrogen and oxygen."

From A Daring Trip To Mars, by Max Valier.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Find out how this will be done in the entry on solar power apparatus.

Another reference to this idea can be found in a description of how to use an atom drill in Asteroid of Fear (1951) by Raymond Z. Gallun:

Drill down to it, melt it with heat, and it was water again, ready to be pumped and put to use.

And water, by electrolysis, was also an easy source of oxygen to breathe.... The soil, once thawed over a few acres, would also yield considerable nitrogen and carbon dioxide—the makings of many cubic meters of atmosphere.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Daring Trip To Mars
  More Ideas and Technology by Max Valier
  Tech news articles related to A Daring Trip To Mars
  Tech news articles related to works by Max Valier

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