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

Moon Camp Pioneers Gallery 2021-2022

In Moon Camp Pioneers each team’s mission is to 3D design a complete Moon Camp using Fusion 360. 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: Star Explorers

lycée COSTEBELLE  Hyères    France 15, 16   2 /
External viewer for 3d project
Project description

Our Moon camp named Armstrong Base aims to be an almost self-sufficient base in all respects, accommodating up to 6 astronauts. It is made to be implemented within the next 15 years and to be self-sufficient within the next 20 years. Our project is based on a lot of verified information, however the lack of information on the lava tunnel can be a problem.

Initially, the base will be supplied with food and water from Earth because the installations that we have planned for a medium-term base cannot have optimal performance as soon as they are put into operation. So the astronauts will rotate every 6 months for a duration of about 5 years.

In a second step, the base will be self-sufficient in food, water and the infrastructures will be fully functional. From then on, searches can be fully effective within the database. The astronauts will no longer stay 6 months but a year, even longer if possible.

Our 3D model contains: a representation of our Moon Camp location; habitable modules; the lunar lander which serves as an elevator between orbit, the surface and the lava tube; the agricultural greenhouse, the Pegasus rover, the solar panels.

2.1 Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?

Our lunar base project will be built inside a lava tube which we will access via the Mare Ingenii Hole located towards the lunar South Pole (160.0° E, 35.6° S). This location allows us permanent exposure to the Sun, thus reducing extreme temperature variations and allowing optimal sunshine for the solar panels that provide electrical energy.

2.2 How do you plan to build your Moon Camp? Describe the techniques, materials and your design choices.

Our Moon Camp will consist of 5 modules named Shelter. They are made with a strong alloy of aluminum and lightweight titanium. Each module has an engine to land precisely in the lava tube. A Shelter consists of 3 habitable floors; the central floor serves as a node between the modules. The middle Shelter has 4 fold-out gangways that are tightly attached to the other modules. All the windows in our project that are in contact with the vacuum are made of compressed polyethylene and are several centimeters thick. The partitions and furniture that will remain immobile (workbench, shower, oven, etc.) are fixed to Earth. The rest of the components (3D printer, medical bed, etc.) will be brought as spare parts during the first manned missions and will be assembled on site. The Shelters will be adapted to future ESA launchers such as Ariane 6 and will take off one by one from Kourou in French Guiana. A re-ignitable second stage will propel the payload to the Moon before releasing the module at the optimum moment. The solar panels are foldable and do not take up much space in a fairing when taking off; they will be brought to the Moon at the same time as the Pegasus rover. Finally, the agricultural greenhouse will be brought during a specific mission. It is designed on Earth as a symmetrical spare part that can be assembled easily. As for the windows, the transparent part is made of polyethylene.


2.3 The environment on the Moon is very dangerous for the astronauts. Explain how your Moon Camp will protect them. (maximum 150 words)

Our base is located in an old lava tunnel which was dug several dozen meters below the surface. The thick layer of lunar soil protects astronauts from the main dangers on the Moon, such as radiation emitted from the Sun and frequent small or large meteor showers. In addition to its proximity to the South Pole, making the temperatures more pleasant (between -50 °C and 0 °C), this underground location further reduces the impact of the temperature on the astronauts (approximately -20 °C in the lava tube). The materials used in the manufacture of our Moon Camp are chosen to improve this natural protection.

2.4 Explain how your Moon Camp will provide the astronauts with:

Astronauts take water with them on takeoff. Each Shelter uses the same water recovery system as in the ISS: the Water Recovering System (WRS). It collects water from all over the base: toilet, shower, all waste water as well as air humidity, the condensation and perspiration. This water is then filtered and purified. This makes it possible to have an almost closed circuit within our Moon Camp: indeed, the system does not recover all the water used, which is why cargo ships will regularly come to supply the base.

In the long term, we can imagine that astronauts will extract freezing water from the poles to be more autonomous.

During the first manned missions, the astronauts will take with them a stock of food such as those used today on the ISS: freeze-dried, dried, heat-stabilized or irradiated foods. Cargo ships will supply this stock punctually. For the medium and long term, astronauts will be able to create a vegetable garden and harvest food produced inside the agricultural greenhouse. One of the Shelters contains several racks in which astronauts can grow spirulina, an alga that has many nutritional and medical properties and that produces oxygen through photosynthesis. This complex reaction is optimized when the algae are illuminated with blue light, which is why blue neon lights have been installed in each rack.

Electricity will be produced by solar panels which are automatically oriented to capture the maximum amount of rays emitted by the sun. This energy will be stored in rechargeable batteries. Astronauts, while doing sports, not only produce water with their perspiration, but also generate electricity from the mechanical movement produced on the strength machines or the bike. In addition to these energy sources, each module contains several alkaline fuel cells that produce electricity (10 to 100kW) and heat from dihydrogen and dioxygen.

The production of water and air are linked: the WRS, which recycles the water in the base, supplies some of it to the Oxygen Generation System (OGS). By electrolysis, this system produces dihydrogen and dioxygen gas. A subpart of this system combines dihydrogen with carbon dioxide exhaled by astronauts to create heat and methane, which is used as fuel by the descent module engine. The production of oxygen is also ensured thanks to the photosynthesis of spirulina in one of the Shelters. The area available in the Shelter for the cultivation of these algae is approximately 27m2/person. In case of emergency, if none of these air sources are available, our Moon Camp has the Vika system formerly used in the MIR station: it consists of igniting powdered sodium chlorate with powdered iron, a chemical reaction thus makes it possible to produce sodium chloride and gaseous oxygen.

2.5 Explain what would be the main purpose of your Moon Camp.

Our Moon Camp will essentially host scientific missions. Its main purpose is to test and discover new technologies as well as to train astronauts with the aim of one day sending the first man to Mars. It will also of course aim to learn more about the Moon and therefore about the Earth and the solar system. The absence of atmosphere and light pollution will offer us new perspectives for astronomical research and the study of deep space. Finally, in the future, it can serve as an advanced base for interplanetary travel.

3.1 Describe a day on the Moon for your Moon Camp astronaut crew.

When they wake up, the astronauts will go to the common room to have breakfast and chat with the other astronauts. After the day’s briefing, each astronaut begins their defined schedule in coordination with the space agency teams on Earth. Tasks can be of four types: Health: Astronauts must undergo medical tests for their well-being or to be transferred to the laboratory to study the effects of a long stay on the Moon. They must also do at least 2h30 of sport per day in order to keep a good physical shape because the muscles and the bones deteriorate when gravity is zero or weak. -maintenance: astronauts must maintain the different parts of the Moon Camp by carrying out maintenance operations inside or outside. They can use the 3d printer in the workshop to make broken parts. They must also take care of the cultivation of different plants in the agricultural greenhouse, as well as spirulina. -research: One of the biggest parts of an astronaut’s schedule is to spend on research. It corresponds to the study of the Moon, its components, but also its properties and its effects on the body and living beings. -extravehicular outing: This is the type of task that astronauts prefer. In combination, they study the lava tube, go to the surface to collect samples, recover the electric batteries… The day is punctuated as on Earth thanks to the meals following the UTC time zones. In the evening, the astronauts debrief the day in the common room on the various new information found during the day. Then they communicate all of this to the teams on Earth. Finally, after eating the evening meal, the astronauts have free time that they can devote to personal pursuits before going to bed.

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