Mooncamp challenge
ESA logo      ESA logo
Explorers winners – Moon Camp Challenge
For a better experience please change your browser to CHROME, FIREFOX, OPERA or Internet Explorer.

Explorers winners

Moon Camp Explorers Winners

Team: Crescent Dwellers

Lycée Français Charles Lepierre  Lisbon    Portugal Third Place – ESA Member States and Canada
External link for 3d
Project description

Our moon Base is built by rovers underground before Humans arrive for long-term stay. The base won’t be built entirely right away; it will take time but it could be completed in the next 10 years. The In-Situ Resource Utilization of the Moon’s materials will be essential for the construction of the base and sustenance of our crew’s needs. The base will be protected from exterior threats such as micro-meteorites, radiation, or depressurization with thick walls of regolith and the soil reinforcing the outside and underground modules. The assistance of 3D printing and rovers will be essential as they will be building the base and the tools needed. In addition, outside inflatable autonomous research facilities could be deployed, for example, a telescope. A permanent Moon base could jump-start Human space exploration, with easier conditions to launch rockets and abundant fuel from the electrolysis of water into Hydrogen and Oxygen.

Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?
Close to the Lunar Poles
Why did you choose this location?

The South pole of the Moon is the most well-known area of the lunar surface, with every square meter thoroughly investigated and mapped. The Moon has a 1,54 degrees tilt in its axis making permanently shadowed regions in the north and south pole that contain large ice deposits, as well as areas that contain sunlight for considerable amounts of time (near the Shackleton Crater for example) that will be extremely useful for the base autonomy, and furthermore temperature and radiation protection. Finally, our base will be located in craters in the south pole of the Moon, near the Shackleton crater.


In order to have a reliable source of water on the moon, water would first be recycled from the moon base waste. Secondly, the camp is located in the lunar poles near moon ice that can be mined and refined into water. Rovers will locate and extract the ice with thermal drills and microwaves, then the water could be separated trough electrolysis into oxygen and hydrogen, used for farming, and for human consumption.

Our base will provide our astronauts food through supplies brought from Earth and plants carried to the moon as seeds that will grow hydroponically inside the base. Meals brought from Earth will be rehydratable and contained in fast to serve and lightweight packages reusable for 3d printing. Algae (Chlorella Vulgaris) would give nearly all essential vitamins, amino acids, and enough lipids to the crew and plants, such as potatoes and vegetables, grown in hydroponic agriculture would be nourished with a solution of water and nutrients without using any dirt or heavy organic fertilizers, adding carbohydrates to our astronaut’s diet.

The initial main source of power for our Moonbase will be nuclear fission reactors called Kilopower. The project and development of the Kilopower are led by NASA and offer 1 to 10 kilowatts of energy continuously for 12-50 years, besides the reactors are lightweight and 4 of them could easily power the base with a crew of 4. At the final stages of the base and to support a bigger crew, fuel cells could be deployed using the oxygen and hydrogen from the electrolysis of water to create power. But some solar panels will be deployed to support rovers.

To support our astronauts with breathable air, the main source would be the electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen:
2 H2O → 2 H2 + O2 (please note that the process releases twice the amount of hydrogen molecules and hydrogen is also highly flammable and explosive and so stocking it will take more careful measures and space). Additionally, algae (Chlorella Vulgaris) and plants could also help, consuming CO2, releasing oxygen and naturally removing volatile and liquid organic pollutants such as ammonia, or benzene that form as a result of the presence of humans and machines in the system.

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

The base would be built on the Moon’s south pole craters with rovers. A circular deployable module would be positioned inside a crater and covered in moon dust, then two other modules would be attached and covered again, the last dome module would be positioned but this time protected by a 3d printed wall of a paste made with regolith connected to the airlocks leading outside. The same would be built in another nearby crater linked by an inflatable tubular module. An elevator permits passage between floors. The main material is aluminum alloy that with regolith keeps the interior pressurized.

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

Inside the underground Moonbase, astronauts will be protected from outside threats such as micrometeorites, debris, extreme temperature, and radiation.  The camp secures breathable air,  supports all crew needs and protects them from Moondust that would destroy lungs and brain cells after long exposure. To prevent that issue astronauts perform routine surveillance and space suits are automatically cleaned before leaving the airlocks.

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

A typical day for our 4 astronauts would be waking up early having one hour to eat, wash,  brush their teeth and get ready for the morning. Then, after receiving their schedule by the control center overnight, each astronaut will settle down to their assigned tasks, either conducting experiments, checking on equipment, gathering the crops and algae, controlling the exteriors rovers for various missions, leading astronomical research and so on. Around 1300-1400 hours astronauts lunch together or by themselves before continuing their assignments. In the afternoon the crew must perform maintenance of the base, machinery, and systems to be sure everything is functioning and cleaned since even moon dust can infiltrate the base through EVA suits and become a serious health problem. The moon’s gravity is 1/3 of what it is on earth so astronauts have to work out to maintain their muscular and bone mass and so the team consecrates at least 1 hour at exercising. 

At about 2000 hours the team can eat dinner before having some free time to contact their loved ones and relax prior to finally going to bed. 

The crew must weekly report to the control center and can sometimes have particular tasks like an EVA or events, for example, a command transition ceremony or a moon to earth transmission that is scheduled in advance. Outside of the daily routine health check-ups are mandatory and they can enjoy collective activities (watching a movie,  …).

← All projects