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: Aquasis

High School of Mathematics “Dr Petar Beron”  Varna    Bulgaria 18   2 / 1
External viewer for 3d project
Project description

Water is fundamental to life, and it’s the one thing that makes our planet so unique. The entire functionality of every living species’ body lies in the water. Simply put, it is vital for developing space colonies. Coming from this perspective, the first step to conquering the Moon is learning to properly utilize its water deposit.

Aquasis will be both a research center for exploring the water ice in the lunar poles and in a way a power station for the rockets that are going to use the Moon as a starting point for deep space exploration.

2.1 Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?

We plan to build our moon base on the South Pole of the Moon. The South Pole appears to be the place that could provide us with the best living conditions. It was recently confirmed that there potentially is a great amount of water ice and its highest concentration occurs within the centers of craters at the South Pole. Apart from using this ice deposit for providing the astronauts with drinking water, we would use it to produce hydrogen and oxygen so we could create a breathable atmosphere. We could also use it to grow plants, produce rocket fuel, and as a shield against space radiation. Speaking of energy supplying, even though the South Pole is, for the most part, covered in shadows, certain areas such as the rims of craters are exposed to continual sunlight for extended periods of time.

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

It’s no secret that transporting materials to outer space, or on our occasion – to the Moon, is comparatively an expensive and challenging experience. Considering the current costs of space flights, it would be better if we don’t rely too much on the resources from the Earth. The first thing that comes to our minds when discussing different options is 3D printing using lunar soil. Apart from that, there are plenty of metals and large deposits of rear-earth elements that we might take advantage of on the Moon. The lunar soil, also known as regolith, for instance, would make an excellent building material. Combining it with polymers, we’ll be able to create the raw material needed for 3D printing. Regolith isn’t abundant in organic materials like the Earth’s soil, and we wouldn’t use it for growing plants. However, its most significant advantage in terms of its application in building is that it could provide us with protection from both radiation and extreme temperature. What’s more, with NASA and the ESA being equally involved in researching the properties of the lunar soil, we already have a ground to step on, so we’ll have a solid basis for further research in the first place. Other promising local materials are, with great certainty, the lunar glass and some of the metals that we can mine directly from the Moon like aluminum, iron, silicon for producing solar panels, etc.

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

For the areas exposed to space radiation, we will use some of the water we harvest for shielding. The two things that make water such an effective source of radiation shielding are its density and cheapness. We already use it for protection from radiation in nuclear power plants, which is similar to cosmic radiation, so we have rather some experience in the field. The walls of the settlement will be filled with water. Inside the layer of water will be placed sensors, which will be checking the radiation levels and provide us with feedback about the shield’s effectiveness. However, for safety reasons, the main living area will be built underground, where the radiation has little access.

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

Water will be extracted from the ice hidden within the South Pole area using autonomous machines and transported to the main site of operation by an airway tram from the inhospitably dark and cold central parts of the crater, where water particles accumulate in the form of ice due to the constantly extremely low temperatures, to the almost year-round lit by the sun rim, where our main base is located. Depending on the purpose we’ll use the water for, a certain treatment process will be required. In the case of obtaining drinking water, the ice would have to be melted, and then the water we get out of it will be filtered, purified, and mineralized. The water that we excavate will also be used for aeroponics, shielding and producing rocket fuel by splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen using solar energy.

Plant-based food is going to be produced in our Aeroponics module. Apart from that, we will fabricate other products like meat, for instance, in a laboratory to achieve a balanced diet, which is crucial for the astronauts’ well-being. The so-called cultured meat is grown by animal cells in a lab. The culture happens inside a bioreactor, which simulates the environment of the animal body. As the cells reach the expected density, they are being separated from the broth they were set in. Hardly any animals are involved since their participation is limited to removing the tissue through a biopsy, which almost certainly will be done on the Earth.

Our primary source of electricity will be the solar panels as the location that we’ve chosen is exposed to enough sunlight to power the base. The problem that we face working with solar panels is that their efficiency is rather low. It estimates to be a little over 20%. This challenge would be overcome by using fibers of carbon nanotubes that have the ability to absorb the broadband waste heat and convert it to electricity. This method would help us increase the solar panels’ efficiency by four times, reaching over 80%. The solar energy that we produce will also be used to create hydrogen fuel by separating the oxygen and hydrogen of the water molecule.

In the very beginning, we’re going to bring both nitrogen and oxygen from the Earth to produce air on the base. As soon as we begin extracting water deep down from the surface of the lunar craters, we’ll be presented with two additional options. We would either get oxygen from the water and mix it with the nitrogen we import from the Earth or make usage of heliox. Heliox is a breathable gas composed of helium and oxygen, whose density is lower than this of the air itself. It’s used in medicine as it decreases airway resistance and is commonly employed by divers swimming in the deep here on Earth. We would be able to fully produce on the base using local resources by getting the oxygen we need from the water and extracting helium from the Moon.

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

The lunar poles are estimated to have over 600 billion kilograms of water ice. Water’s required for future human colonies, so it makes a lot of sense that we concentrate on exploring the lunar ice deposit. Water would potentially be the milestone in conquering the Moon because of its many applications. Our goal is to create a self-sufficient base that won’t depend on supplies from Earth. Before commercializing the Moon by setting up businesses and building up an industry, we’ll have to observe and study the local environment, with water being initially the top priority. Water is a treasure we take for granted, but it’s so essential for life that we could define it as our most valuable resource.

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

The first thing in the morning that our astronauts will do will be serving their hygiene needs like showering, brushing their teeth, etc., generally speaking, getting ready for the day. Before breakfast time, they’ll spend half an hour or so exercising inside the gym in the living module. Sport is vital for good health, especially when living and working under the conditions of an environment so distinct from this of the Earth. After training, they will go for breakfast, discuss their individual tasks for the day and have a quick morning chat to wake them up. After that, they’ll split into groups and get to work. That groups will be formed as follows – workers in the aeroponics module that take care of the plants and examine the process of growth; people that are concerned with logistics, arranging and organizing the warehouses; the scientists inside the lab who are engaged with water treatment and servicing the bioreactors; those who are involved in mining the water ice out of the craters by checking and maintaining the condition of the mining robots and transportation systems. Every astronaut will also be obliged to check the supporting systems, monitor the technical equipment, and answer the calls from the Earth Control Center. Through the working process, each crew member will have the possibility to rest whenever he finds the workload to be too intense, everyone will define his own schedule, and when he’s finished with his tasks, the working day will end. During dinnertime, they will once again gather around the table to share some time in each other’s company. Before going to bed, the astronauts will have a few hours for themselves when they’ll choose between visiting the gym, participating in activities in the entertainment center, and communicating with their family, relatives, and friends on Earth via emails, calls, and video chats.

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