In Moon Camp Explorers each team’s mission is to 3D design a complete Moon Camp using Tinkercad. They also have to explain how they will use local resources, protect astronauts from the dangerous of space and describe the living and working facilities.
We named our moon camp as Vasco da Gama’s Lunar Camp because Vasco da Gama was an important Portuguese explorer who discovered the sea route to India in 1497-1498. We also aim to explore the universe!
Our Moon Camp will have a base with three main structures/areas connected between them. One of the structures will have two labs (one of the labs will have a 3D printer) and a command/communications room. The second structure will have a kitchen/living room, a storage room, a bedroom and a bathroom. The third will have a greenhouse, a mealworms farm and a gym.
The Moon Camp will have, outside of the base, a solar panels field, a launch pad, a water plant, an oxygen and an electrolysis plant, telescopes and a communication system. We will move with rovers equipped with solar panels.
To protect the astronauts from the moon dangers the Vasco da Gama’s Camp will have:
-For solar radiation protection we would use aerogel for thermal radiation and highly reflective materials and above that a few meters of regolith;
-For the micrometeorites protection we would use graphene on the outside layer and Kevlar on the inside layer (just like a bulletproof vest);
-For the vacuum protection we would use several pressurized and despressurized areas.
Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?
Close to the Lunar Poles
Why did you choose this location?
We choose to locate our Moon Camp on the south pole, close to the Shackleton crater, mainly because there the illumination is almost constant and the south pole’s temperature is more stable, and so, better than anywhere else in the Moon. We also choose this location because there is frozen water in the Shackleton crater so it would be easier to get water for different purposes. The south pole is also the best known place in Moon and that would be an advantage.
How do you plan to build your Moon Camp? Which materials would you use?
To build our Moon Camp we would send a few rovers to dig for the under-surface part of the base, a 3D printer rover and a few more stuff, like solar panels and a communication system. After that we would send more spacecrafts with the remaining components of the base, like technological equipment. The materials we plan to use to build the Moon Camp are mainly light materials like titanium and carbon fiber, from planet Earth, and regolith, from the Moon.
Explain how your Moon Camp will provide the astronauts with:
To get potable water we would use the rovers to take the frozen water from Shackleton crater to our moon camp, then we would melt the frozen water in a container with the sunlight using concave mirrors. After the water melted, we would boil it and then filter it to be potable. We would also recycle the water from the shower and the urine.
To get food we would have a greenhouse to produce genetically altered fruit and vegetables, in a closed hydroponics system and using artificial illumination. To get more protein we would have a mealworms farm. We would feed them with the vegetable remains (like peels).
To get power we would use a photovoltaic panels field. Also, we would use the steam from the water purification system and add a turbine as a vertical extension of the water container connected to a dynamo (just like a normal heat based energy reactor). We would also use smaller dynamos in the static bicycle of the gym, to generate electric power during astronaut’s workout (just to get the most possible energy).
To get breathable air we would use an equipment like the one used in the water system (with mirror and lenses). We would heat regolith with calcium chloride to 950 ºC (a method called molten salt electrolysis). We also would build an electrolyser to get extra oxygen and hydrogen from water and some extra electric power of the solar panels.
Describe a day on the Moon for one of your Moon Camp astronauts
The astronaut wakes up around 6 am and goes to the kitchen and has breakfast. After that he/she does his/her personal hygiene (30 minutes). Then the astronaut goes to check out if everything is working normally in the Moon Base (1:30 hour). During this visit he/she takes care of the vegetables in the greenhouse and of the mealworms farm. Then he/she starts to work on the laboratory doing research and some experiments (1 hour). Before lunch, the astronaut goes to exercise himself in the gym (1:30 hour).
After that, the astronaut will prepare the lunch and eat it. At the lunch time he/she will also have some time to contact with his/her family and to relax a little bit (2 hours). After lunch, the astronaut will work outside on the plants (1:30 hours). Then he/she goes back to the laboratory to do more experiments and research (2 hours).
Then the astronaut goes to prepare his/her dinner and eat it (45 minutes). After dinner he/she will check out again some of the main parts of the Camp (like water, oxygen and energy supplies). After, the astronaut will make a report of the day to send to ESA. To finish the day, he/she will take care of him/herself and go to sleep.
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