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 are a team of six students age (14) and we join a workshop of robotics in our school. This workshop works in science, programming and robotics. We have the support of 2 IT teachers, 1 science teacher and 1 computing educator with programming skills. In our base we create a hexagonal modular base. Why? The advantage is to be portable, easy to transport and it can be attached as needed, the material will be carbon fiber because is light and resistant, it should be preprared to resist to solar radiation and from the heat and freezing temperatures. Our modular moon camp will explore natural resourses as water ice, regolith and sunlight. How? We prepare some modules to took Oxigen from regolith (very rich in O2 – 45%), we design a moon rover to detect icy water inside craters with some gas sensors. This rover is prepared to rocky and irregular soil, it walks with some kind of paws and has no rubber wheels, the engine is powered by a solar panel. We have a special drone prepared for very low gravity and the lack of atmosfere in moon, it has small propulsors and an adapted rotor, more powerfull than the drone in service in Mars. the goal is find icy water inside the craters. The base has big solar panel like a mushroom that is capable to produce energy for 4 astronauts in six months. We will dedicate modules to produce vegetables, mushrooms and potatoes. We have some modules for storage. We have a complex of 7 modules for O2 production, another complex as a research lab and other as house for the 4 astronauts, with a comunication center. Finally, we have modules dedicated to recycle human waiste and water. We can’t forget the landing/launchpad for future crews and food refills.
Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?
Close to the lunar poles
Why did you choose this location?
The perfect place for a Moon base, a crater rim near the lunar north pole that’s in near-constant sunlight yet not far from suspected stores of water ice. Permanently sunlit areas would provide crucial solar energy. Equally important, in the permanently shadowed depths of craters around the lunar north pole, water ice may lurk, according to previous but unconfirmed observations.
How do you plan to build your Mooncamp? Which materials will you use?
Firstly we will transport hexagonal modular base. Why? The advantage is to be portable, easy to transport and it can be attached as needed, the material will be carbon because is light and resistant, it should be preprared to resist to solar radiation and from the heat and freezing temperatures. These modules has protection from solar radiation. The modules will be transported gradually in the next lunar missions. Then we will use the game changer a constrution 3D Printer who works with cement created with the regolith soil of the moon.
In the permanently shadowed depths of craters around the lunar north pole, water ice may lurk, according to previous but unconfirmed observations. We have a rover prepared to detect and extract water form these craters. But, in th beginning we will bring water for 1 month. Our facilities will not waiste any water and will recycle it.
Firstly will store food and we have a landpad to receive refills of food from earth. We will produce in our biggest labs some vegetables, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce and potatoes as an experiment.
We have a big mushroom solar panel to gave power supply and cover our modules, our vehicles has solar panels too. The Moon Camp will have solar batteries to prevent a system failure and keep the camp with power.
We will make oxygen by running electricity through water and split the oxygen from the hydrogen.This is called electrolysis. The air and water on the Moon Camp all originally came from Earth. But we will colect and produce oxygen from the moon regolith, 45% is Lunar regolith, the thin layer of dusty rock that blankets the Moon, is not so different from the minerals found on Earth. By weight, it contains about 45% oxygen bound with other metal components. We will have tecnology and equipment to make it happen.
The protection is one big issue because some rocks can reach high velocities and can cause big damage to the base. It will be real hard to stop high velocity rocks. We built a cover for our base like a mushroom shape where the solar panels will be attached. This bring some protection. We will dedicate time and software for observation and find some rocks in the space that can be dangerous. If we detect any danger we can change the location of some basic hexagonal modular base. We will put some of these modules in a different spot to prevent a emergency in our base. These modules are light and can be put easly in different locations.
Describe a day on the Moon for one of your Moon Camp astronauts
Our base is prepared for 4 astronauts. In the morning 2 of them will be in comunication center. The other ones will be doing some science experiments. In the end of the morning they have a meal together. In the afternoon they will test the rovers and the equipements. Some of the days they will have some exterior task for exploration of the moon, and find icy craters. They need to prepare regolith to harvest oxygen. The team of astronauts has a busy day and different tasks during the days and week. The schedule of the team require producing vegetables experiments, keep the storage modules, keeping the O2 production, making all the maintenance of the equipments like solar panels, the energy/power, comunications, the rovers and launch pad. The help of sotware to detect problems, and the staff team from earth are crucial. At the night all 4 astronauts will have dinner together if possible, and they will make shifts for sleeping.
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