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: Mission Eos

Salesianos de Lisboa – Oficinas de São José  Lisbon    Portugal 18, 17   6 / 2
External viewer for 3d project
Project description

“Hermes” base, named after the Ancient Greek god of the messengers and of astronomy, represents our wish to spread all the knowledge acquired through it,  relative to the Universe, to the rest of Humanity.

The lunar base will essentially be divided into two components: one located in the interior of the Malapert Mountain and one on the exterior.

Firstly, in the interior of the mountain, you will find the astronaut’s rooms, bathrooms, a gym, a common room, a cafeteria, and a communications room. This will also be where we can find the water storage and filtration compartments. Additionally, there will also be access to a storage room, for food and other materials, which can be used as a bunker, in case of any solar storms.

On the edge of the mountain’s interior, you may find centers for research and observation, as well as electricity conversion and storage rooms. At the base’s entrance, in between these locations, there will be a small compartment designed for the astronaut’s suits filtration as they come in, so as to prevent any lunar dust from entering the base’s air.

Secondly, on the outside, there will be several greenhouses and a point for landing and/or take-off. On the mountain’s top, solar panels, which will provide the base with electricity, can be found.

2.1 Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?

The base will be built on the Moon’s South Pole, more specifically, in the Malapert Mountain region. This region is ideal since it is exposed to sunlight 90% of the year, therefore not being as susceptible to a wide daily temperature variation as other Moon regions, where it can vary, in a very short space of time, between 100ºC and -150ºC. Another advantage to this is that it allows a profitable use of solar panels.

In addition, this mountain is located near craters like Shackleton, which are permanently in shade and are abundant in essential natural resources that can guarantee the base’s self-sufficiency, like ice and minerals. It also offers a strategic landing point and communication area, since Malapert is visible from the Moon and Shackleton.

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

Due to the price and distance range, an initial human mission would be inadvisable. Instead, we opted to trust the first steps to resistant robots which can be controlled remotely from Earth and would build the basic structure that would later on welcome human expeditions. This structure would be made of aluminum, a light, resistant material, and covered (if need be) with 80cm of regolith, so as to protect the base from radiation.

In the first step of construction, there would be a robot, capable of digging and building a 3D printer to create adequate materials on the Moon, water, and microalgae, so as to start fertilizing lunar soil, and solar panels. All of the building processes will be remotely monitored by humans, and made by robots.

The second phase would consist of a human expedition, which would also carry materials for the construction of greenhouses (structure, LED lights, etc…), water, seeds, fertilizers, and a water filtration system, to purify the ice extracted from lunar soil. At the end of this process, the base will have become self-sufficient.

The third phase would be dedicated to taking care of possible technical details relative to the base’s functionality and to building an observatory that will provide the astronauts with scientifically relevant data.

The fourth and last phase is the opening of the structure to the World’s economy, i.e., intervention from private funds will be permitted, which will be crucial for the development of a lunar city.

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

When speaking of the portion of the base located in the mountain’s interior, protection against radiation and meteorite impact is already guaranteed, as well as extreme temperature variation, since, in its interior, they are relatively stable (vary between -50ºC and -20ºC). 

Additionally, since it is necessary to guarantee protection against lunar dust, highly prejudicial to human well-being, there will be an entrance chamber where the dust will be separated from the astronaut’s suits, using electromagnetic processes, as well as a ventilation system along the base, that filtrates these particles from the air.

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

Initially, water would need to be sent to the base in bags, through space shuttles and replenishment vehicles, like the ones used by the International Space Station (ISS). Since, in the future, the base would have a commercial purpose, it could be stocked by visiting ships, if need be.
Additionally, a water filtration system, similar to the one in the ISS, which would allow the recycling of up to 93% of the water used in the base, including the astronaut’s excrements, would be used in the base. This system is composed of filters, purifiers, and a distiller in the shape of a rotating barrel, so as to create more gravity, allowing a better separation between the water and residues.
Another option is the extraction of water (ice) from the lunar soil, which is abundant in the South Pole, using several types of technologies.

Just like with water, in an initial phase, food would be acquired mainly through replenishment missions, which would carry dehydrated meals.
However, food would also, progressively, be obtained mainly through the vegetables planted in the hydroponic greenhouses, since the lunar soil is infertile. In these plant houses there would be different types of lettuces and cabbages, as happens in the ISS, but with the addition of potatoes, peas, and even soy, due to these vegetables’ nutrition values. A plantation of watermelon or cucumber would also be a good option since they are highly rich in water (which could be reused) and sugars. The plants would be exposed to the radiation emitted by LED lights (especially from red light).

Power would be mainly obtained through solar panels located near the base since the area where it is found is permanently exposed to solar radiation.
It would simultaneously be obtained through microalgae, which would then be used to create biofuels, transformed from the lipids extracted from the algae. These fuels could be used in generators specifically destined for them.
Some of the energy produced by both the solar panels and the generators would be stored in batteries and kept as a supply in case of any emergency, like a fault in the solar panels’ system.
In addition, water electrolysis, which would be primarily used in the production of oxygen, also has hydrogen as a byproduct. This hydrogen would, in an “inverse” chemical procedure, react with oxygen, since this reaction generates electricity.

In an initial phase, before the base had become completely self-sufficient, oxygen would be compressed and brought to the Moon from Earth.
One of the main procedures involved in obtaining oxygen would be water electrolysis, as mentioned before. Throughout the base, there would be ventilation and air filtration systems, which would capture carbon dioxide and other prejudicial gases, produced in smaller quantities.
The plant garden, just as well as the microalgae, would be a reliable source of oxygen, due to the photosynthesis of these organisms, capturing carbon and releasing the desired gas.
Additionally, the lunar soil is rich in oxygen, since every cubic meter of regolith contains about 630 kg of it, making its extraction from the soil a feasible option.
The produced oxygen would be stored in pressurized tanks, designed in such a way as to minimize any gas leaks and to monitor all the pressure differences.

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

The main purpose of the mission is to create a self-sufficient base that will allow the establishment of human life on the Moon.

Therefore, studies and investigations of the Moon and its characteristics are critical in the development of facilities designed for spatial habitation. In terms of scientific studies and breakthroughs, the base would simultaneously function as a spatial observatory and could, in the future, serve as a location dedicated to studying meteorites, brought from their orbit to the lunar soil.

In a much later phase of the mission, the base could serve as a supply station, using an orbital docking station, serving as an opening to spatial exploration.

Additionally, so as to obtain financial support, the development of space tourism and the promotion of privatization and commercialization of certain components of the lunar base would be sought after.

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

(We decided to focus on the captain’s daily routine since theirs would be the most thorough.)

At 6:45 am, the astronauts wake up and have 15 minutes of free time to get ready for the day. Then, they would practice their daily physical exercise routine at the gym up until 8 o’clock, saving an hour and a half to take care of their hygiene, relax and have breakfast. During this period, the captain will discuss and organize everyone’s tasks for the day. From then on, everyone’s routine differs, depending on what was arranged between crew members.

However, the commander will always reserve his morning for very specific tasks, which would assure the well-being and functioning of the astronauts and the base, respectively. Therefore, they will evaluate the performance of the ventilation and filtration systems, looking to analyze the gassy composition of the camp and verify that these are at the right levels. They will also need to check on the state of the crops, organic compost, irrigation, temperature, and humidity of the plant houses. After this, they should inspect the systems dedicated to treating and recycling water.

In the time left before lunch, they would supervise other ongoing tasks, helping the astronauts, if necessary. At half-past one, the team will have lunch, prepared by the people selected in the morning, and relax.

An hour later, the tasks, where the captain will now directly intervene, resume. This way, they will occupy their day with missions such as scientific research, data collecting, and surface exploration.

Between 5:30 pm and 6 pm, after the end of their tasks, all crew members will discuss amongst themselves everyone’s performance and possible difficulties and obstacles faced throughout the day. The commander will give brief instructions for the rest of the afternoon and the following day.

Until dinner time, the captain will register events of the day and other more specific information relative to the base’s mechanisms. They can also report these to Earth if conditions for the communications are adequate.

After dinner, which will take place at 8 pm, everyone will have time to relax, while the commander does one last checkup on water, air, and food systems. Finally, they will also have time to rest, take care of their personal hygiene and get ready for bed at 9:30 pm.

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