Mooncamp challenge
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Explorers gallery 2022 – Moon Camp Challenge
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Explorers gallery 2022

Moon Camp Explorers Gallery 2021-2022

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.

Team: Polus Satus

Ilford County High School  London    United Kingdom 14   2 / 0   Second Place – ESA Member states
External link for 3d
Project description

Our Moon camp is named ‘Polus Satus’. ‘Polus’ means Pole, and ‘Satus’ means beginning or planting. Therefore, our Moon camp in the Lunar South Pole is the planting of a seed in space.

The Polus Satus contains 13 buildings, with 6 automated vehicles. The camp fully utilises all natural resources on the moon, including water ice (electrolysis and drinking), sunlight (solar panels and solar concentrated reactors), regolith (3D printed buildings and extraction for metals and oxygen), and CO2 (plants). The camp provides a safe, pressurised, and protective environment for astronauts, allowing essential experiments to take place on the moon. This is because all buildings have compact regolith shells that incorporate a honeycomb structure, which is strong and doesn’t require a large amount of regolith to build. As well as the physical needs of astronauts in space via the gym, Polus Satus ensures astronauts are not isolated during their stay, promoting healthy mental wellbeing, due to the design of the living quarters.

Our Moon camp is designed to be fully sustainable, whilst having a limited environmental impact on the moon itself. This is because all waste is recycled to be used as 3D printing filament. The Polus Satus is also designed to have both a highly effective water recycling system and an efficient oxygen and carbon dioxide ecosystem using plants grown in the greenhouse, under optimised conditions.

The Polus Satus has an ergonomic layout, with every building connected efficiently by corridors meaning easy access for astronauts to travel between buildings.

Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?
Shackleton crater
Why did you choose this location?

Shackleton’s crater allows us to access many essential resources for the camp including near constant sunlight for energy due to the crater being located on the south side of the moon, as well as water from the ice for drinking and oxygen, and a constant temperature provided by the shaded spot of the crater. In addition, it is close to the de Gerlache and Amundsen craters, giving us access to carbon dioxide needed for plant growth and therefore food. The crater also includes more interesting geology, and allows for communication with Earth, allowing researchers to report their developments.

How do you plan to build your Mooncamp? Which materials will you use?

The scientific rover will land on the moon first and find a suitable area in Shackleton’s crater, with water ice available. Three astronauts living and driving in the Lunar Exploration Vehicle will then set up and build the first building, carrying the Ice drilling rover, and the 3D printing rovers. Once the first building has been made, 3D printers and plants are brought down, to allow astronauts to expand the base. The remaining buildings are then created using Lunarcrete (a special mixture of regolith, water, and an aggregate mixture) which is strong and is able to absorb radiation well.

Water
Food
Electricity
Air
Protection

Shackleton’s crater has good access to ice that is drilled and melted by our ice drilling rovers. Once the water has been extracted, it is sent through the water filtration system, and then sent around all buildings that require water. Additional water is collected through the recycling of urine as well as non-sewage wastewater using a filter located in the material recycling building, to improve the sustainability of our water supply.

Food is grown in the greenhouse, under controlled CO2, light, and temperature conditions. Due to the scarcity of carbon dioxide on the moon, the plants grown will be fully consumable, to minimise food waste, whilst growing quickly to provide enough food. Such plants include asparagus, cabbage, and carrots. LEDs will provide the plants with a controlled amount of light. Carbon dioxide that needs to be inputted is sourced by extraction from the de Gerlache and the Amundsen craters nearby, using regolith as a substitute for sand.

Power is mainly supplied via solar energy, as 80-90% of the year in Shackleton’s crater is spent under the Sun, though in the event we are unable to access solar power, we have also developed a radioisotope thermoelectric power system, ensuring power does not go down unexpectedly. Power collected by the solar panels and radioisotope thermoelectric power systems is sent to the electricity and oxygen distributor, where it is then circulated around all buildings.

Oxygen for breathing is supplied by electrolysis of the ice, which is drilled, melted, and then filtered by the ice drilling rovers, and then sent to the oxygen and electricity distributor, that circulates oxygen around the main buildings. Due to all buildings being connected by corridors, excess oxygen produced by the greenhouse is diffused around all buildings, allowing a constant concentration of oxygen to be maintained across the different buildings. Excess CO2 produced by humans is absorbed by plants in the buildings.

Potential hazards towards astronauts include radiation and asteroids. When any asteroids are detected, they are shot and split by the Asteroid Shooting Rover. These smaller pieces are then grouped up and deposited by the Asteroid Containment drone to a safe area, where they can be harvested for their resources. In the unlikely event that any small asteroids evade the drone, they harmlessly hit our regolith shells. These shells also protect astronauts from radiation caused by the sun, and in the rare event of solar flares, astronauts can be protected in the safety of the underground bunker.

Describe a day on the Moon for one of your Moon Camp astronauts

I woke up at the usual time of 7:00 to the quite chatter of my fellow astronauts, and had a light breakfast of kale, cut fresh from the greenhouse. There was a leap in my step, as together with my comrades, we headed to the fitness centre, where I had a good game of space tennis, which is exactly like how it was on Earth, but with the absence of the ball bouncing. After cooling off in the shower, we headed to the garage, where we took the LEV out to perform the regular check-up of the rovers and take some samples of old lunar rock, which we later examined in the laboratory. After a filling lunch, we assessed the images taken by the scientific rover, and sent these for further examination on Earth using the communication centre, before examining how well the regolith reactor extracted the resources from the remains of a recent asteroid, which had been successfully diverted away from the main base as usual. We then went to the greenhouse, where we harvested some greens and beans to cook for dinner. As normal, dinner was very enjoyable, with everyone discussing the amazing progress they had made that day. After some quick table top games, I left the others to read on my bed, where I promptly fell asleep after another successful day.

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