Mooncamp challenge
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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: VOJA team

ZŠ Roudnice nad Labem  Roudnice nad Labem    Czech Republic First Place – ESA Member States and Canada

External link for 3d

Project description

We named our Moon camp Columbia to tribute Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of America and to honour the space shuttle Columbia which crashed in 2003. An Israel astronaut Ilan Ramon was onboard during the crash. He carried with him a picture called Moon Landscape painted by a Czechoslovakian boy Petr Ginz, who was murdered at concentration camp Auschwitz. We decided to name our rocket to honour him. Andrew Feustel brought this picture to the space once again in 2018.

In our base we want to accommodate six astronauts in turns of three every six months. The base has sophisticated life-saving system and should be as self-sufficient as possible, but some parts will be brought from the Earth. We would like to specialize in research of growing plants in regolith (with biowaste) in a lower gravity conditions. We would like to also search for microorganisms in lunar regolith.

Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?

Close to the Lunar Poles

Why did you choose this location?

We decided to establish our camp close to the lunar south pole next to one of the smaller craters. There is a smaller difference in temperatures. There is also a stable sun light supply which would allow us to put photovoltaic panels above the crater. The sun light could be one of the best sources for supply of electricity of our base. It also allows us to research the plant growth on the Moon. There is also water in craters around the South lunar pole which can be used after melting.

Water
Food
Electricity
Air

We would gain water from the underground deposits of ice. After melting the ice, water will be filtered to reduced poisonous substances and will be used by astronauts for everyday use and research. To prevent the waste of water, water will be filtered and reused in a similar way as on the ISS.

We would produce food at an aeroponic farm, where we would grow algae, pulses, tomatoes, radishes, salads and other species of vegetables. In the experimental green-house we would try to grow tomatoes, corn, pulses and a special kind of potatoes crossed with tomatoes called TomTato to research plants and cross kinds in lunar soil mixed with bio waste from astronauts. We would try to breed fish to maintain a variety of food. In case of success it would save transport weight from the Earth.

A permanent supply of energy will be provided by a small nuclear reactor. The secondary source of energy would be solar panels always facing sunshine thanks to placement on rotating columns. Fuel for the rocket return to the Earth would be hydrogen and oxygen gained from the moon water by electrolysis. There will also be experiments for extracting methane from putrescent plants and astronaut’s excrements to try to develop a spare fuel for rockets. We see methane as future fuel of rockets.

We would mix few gases together to prepare air for astronauts, because pure oxygen in bigger amount could be unhealthy and damaging for lungs. We would get oxygen by water electrolysis. Nitrogen in smaller amounts would be gained from putrescent plants and astronaut’s excrements. We would add water steam to the air to slightly increase the air humidity to make the breathing for astronauts more comfortable. Oxygen will also be taken from the Earth, so astronauts have a back-up in case of some problems at the base.

How do you plan to build your Moon Camp? Which materials would you use?

For building the aboveground part of the camp we would use 3D print from moon regolith to create protective framework. Afterwards the rest of the structure of the base would be inflated.  The space for underground parts of the base would be created by lava tubes where would inflate other rooms for living and research. Different rooms and labs would be connected by inflating tubes.  We would build the experimental green-house from solid and light Perspex. Inflating modules would be coated with metal layer which would have a protective function.

The Moon environment is very dangerous for the astronauts. Explain how your Moon Camp will protect them.

We intend to protect the astronauts from outside influence in some ways. Most of the camp will be situated underground so astronauts will be protected from micrometeoroids, dangerous radiation and big differences of temperatures. Aboveground parts of the camp will protect astronauts thanks to the layers of regolith on modules. In case of decompression of one of the modules, it will be immediately closed by an automatic system. Every module should in case of emergency provide supply of water, food and the air for astronauts for three days which is time needed for getting from Earth to the Moon.

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

Our camp will follow world or London time (UTC). General schedule of the crew: The crew gets up at 6.00 am. Astronauts have one-hour time for morning hygiene and a breakfast (everybody makes his own). Until 8.30 am they must check the base and discuss the day plan. Afterwards, they must exercise for one hour. In the morning they start to prepare experiments. At 12.30 pm starts one and half hour break for lunch. They change in lunch preparation. At 3.00 pm they have one-hour exercise in the gym. Then they will proceed in their experiments till 6.00 pm and next they will have a dinner time. After dinner they have free time, but they must check the base. At 8.00 pm it is time for evening hygiene. At 9.30 pm they should go to sleep. Similarly, to the ISS, Saturdays will be cleaning and tidying days and on Sundays astronauts will have a free day. Work tasks differ based on astronauts’ skills. A geologist spends more time on the ground than a doctor. The work of a biologist will be mainly in the green-house and in the aeroponic lab. A material engineer together with a rocket engineer will be responsible for the technical condition and security of the base.


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