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.
Situated in the moon’s South Pole, our moon base consists of many structures most notably the hyperboloid shaped structure connected with a torus which hosts a range of amenities from laboratories to sleeping-quarters. Due to the near-vacuum created by the moon we chose a hyperboloid structure due to its compressive strength and it’s efficient dealing with internal air-pressure. Our base has utilised the capabilities of 3D printing using lunar regolith to create strong and protective structures for astronauts, shielding them for radiation (a problem due to the moon’s atmosphere) as well as protection against asteroids. Our moon based utilises the protection of craters and regolith to minimise astronauts exposure to radiation by partially submerging the base as well as surrounding the entry points with a lunar regolith dome. We have also optimised our design for extension in mind.
Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?
The South Pole near the Shackleton crater- this is due to the numerous benefits presented by the location. Firstly, the regions is lit reliably (excluding eclipses) allowing us to use the most of our perovskite halide solar panels, which is one the main sources of electricity for our camp. Secondly, the regions has bearable temperatures suitable to live with unlike other regions which are unlivable to the extreme temperatures. Moreover, this region also allows for signals and communications to be sent to earth easily, which is vital for researchers to share findings or for emergencies etc. The region is also abundant in lunar ice and sources of water, which is vital for those on board to stay, as well as source of hydrogen which can help our backup regenerative fuel cell. Finally, there are tunnels underground to expand our facilities whilst keeping safe from asteroids and radiation.
How do you plan to build your Moon Camp? Describe the techniques and materials you would use.
The primary material used will be lunar regolith, which can be 3D printed via sintering and extruding the material. New techniques of solar sintering regolith have proven to be successful requiring the concentration of sunlight to produce structures via a large-scale 3D printer. This can be attached to a rover/robot which can navigate across the surface via techniques such as simultaneous localization and mapping to mimic the XYZ axis of 3D printing. The presence of silica can also produce glass which we can use to produce mirrors for lighting the base.
Water can be extracted and purified from urine via (forward) osmosis which uses a concentrated solute solution. Additionally, we can extract lunar ice from nearby craters and regolith which under high pressure and heat can be melted and stored for use. Additionally, water can be extracted from the environment of the camp itself.
The best method of food production on the moon is via the production of plants, which can also release oxygen. Our camp uses a hydroponic system which supplies substitute minerals and water to the plants for growth. Our camp includes a greenhouse for large scale food production.
The primary source of power in our space camp is sunlight which will be collected by perovskite solar cell- which can be taken to space via liquid and is more efficient and easy to manufacture than normal panels. As a back-up, we will use a closed-loop regenerative fuel cell which can produce electricity via hydrogen and oxygen when the sun is not present, via solar arrays. The second back-up will be a solar-mirroring system which heats thermal mass (from regolith)
Plants from our gardens will produced oxygen. Additionally, extracted regolith can produce oxygen via molten salt electrolysis which has much higher yields than any other extraction methods with regolith.
How do you plan to build your Moon Camp? Which materials would you use?
The environment on the Moon is very dangerous for the astronauts. Explain how your Moon Camp will protect them.
Our moon camp has an external outer dome (made from a strong Voronoi structure) made out of lunar regolith (3D-printed). This can protect them from lunar radiation and is strong to with stand asteroid hits. This is place near the entrance of the lunar structure, but the rest of the base is in a crater which is submerged in layers of lunar regolith. This includes bedrooms and other high frequency facilities. This keeps them safe from asteroids and radiation. Regolith is a very strong material and is capable of withstanding radiation and is strong against meteors. This is vital due to the moon’s lack of an atmosphere.
Describe a day on the Moon for your Moon Camp astronaut crew.
The moon camp astronauts being their day by waking up from their designated bedrooms at the bottom of their base. They then preform all necessary hygiene measures before using the exercise room to keep in shape. They then perform routine checks on the moon camp in the control room and the greenhouse. After eating their necessary meals they then work for their respective roles. Technicians perform any repairs, whilst scientists carry on experiments (e.g. regolith extraction). Throughout the day there will be periodic breaks to reduce the mental strain. Nearly all members will be paired with a partner to keep them accompanied in the day preserving their mental well being. Over the course of the day further checks will be made on surrounding facilities when it is made safe to do so. They then send signals back to earth regarding progress near the end of the day before winding-down and sleeping once more. Throughout the day their might be team-building activities as a pastime and to improve co-ordination. The primary topic researchers on my moon will be studying is in situ resource utilization in the moon as a means of future space travel and moon colonisation, the characteristics of regolith (to improve modelling at home).
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