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.
Our Moon Camp is a practical and expandable base for two to three people. It was important to us to approach the task with new creative approaches, but always stay within the bounds of possibility. We also wanted a maximum efficient construction of the base, which is built from few resources, but also protects the astronauts. The focus of our Moon Base is also on in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), which is clearly shown by its location and the building material used. But we also wanted to rethink the way of building up the base by our camp extensions in the door frame. The most important point is the health of the astro and therefore we have integrated retreats, natural light and thus create a healthy lifestyle for our astronauts.
Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?
We would build the Mooncamp ear the lunar south pole. A good spot would be the rim of the Shackleton crater, because there it would be 80-90% illuminated by the sunlight. This would guaranty us energy. At the same time, we would have access to one of the largest water resources on the moon. Also, the temperature doesn ́t reach the daily temperature extremes of the equatorial latitudes. This would allow longer expeditions and more possibilities to work outside on the lunar surface. The ICE could be melted to hopefully drinkable water. You could also separate the oxygen and hydrogen out of the water and use it for breathable air and fuel. It would be communication given because astronomical radio waves may perform in usable frequencies there. Ores may give more possibilities for 3D-Printing. In the end this place would be grate and give a beautiful view on the earth.
How do you plan to build your Moon Camp? Describe the techniques and materials you would use.
The aforementioned construction of our base will take place in two phases. In the first phase everything is done automatically and by robots. In the first approach a 3D-printer robot arrives with a number of “blobs”. These blobs are inflatable domes with a thin membrane and integrated ventilation system. The mobile 3D-printer robot prepares a mixture of moon rocks and creates a solid and protective coating. It is important to note that the area of 3D-printing is built slightly perous. In the second phase the astronauts land in the lander, on which 3 “door frames” are attached. These can be dismantled and form a direct tube to the lander and are airtightly connected to the lander. By an electrical mechanism the edges of the door frames can be heated, after which the porous layer of the 3D-printer is removed. This enables a direct and airtight fusion with the blobs.
As already mentioned we have decided to build the moon camp at the edge of the Shackleton Crater. As far as water is concerned we wanted to filter the frozen water to thaw it out and incorporate it into the water system. As a first solution we want to add water ourselves into the water system, which was procured in the crater. The water will then be flushed into a recycling plant. As a long term solution we want to install a pump system, which thaws, filters and pumps the water. If there are any problems with the initial procurement, the Moon Rover could help.
The food system is also a dynamic one. So in the beginning, food that was brought along is consumed. But as soon as possible, we switched to home grown food. In concrete terms, we want to farm blob vertical farming. With seeds that we have brought with us, but we would produce a mixture of soil that would supplement the moon dust with the necessary minerals. To overcome the monotony of the food we would use a food 3D-printer, which can cook different dishes with spices and textures. This way we want to maintain the crew’s morale, but also create routines.
As a power system we would like to avoid nuclear energy if possible to avoid unnecessary radiation. In addition, we want to generate a renewable energy source through our solar panels that we will build on the edge of the Shackleton Crater. This way we get the advantages of the South Pole and have 90% sunshine per year. But batteries are included in the system. These can be used for the moon rover or the 3d printer robot. The collected energy is also used for the efficient LED lighting of the farming blob, the ventilation system and the water recycling system.
The air system is integrated into all blobs from the beginning of the lunar mission. This way they can be inflated and connected to the oxygen system in the lander through the tubes. As a ventilation and filtration system we want to carry out the Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE), which is also planned for the Perseverance Rover, in a larger scale. This will process the degenerated carbon dioxide of the astronauts to a small pure amount of oxygen. But of course we also want to use conventional air conditioning systems like those used in the ISS.
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.
We will cover our base with a 3D-printed layer of lunar dust. This will protect us from radiation and impact by a meteorite rain. At the same time, we have a natural isolation which keeps us safe from extreme temperature fluctuations. The upper part of our moon lander will be equipped with the same insulations as the International Space Station, so we are also protected from radiation there. If this part should be damaged by meteorites, we can us the bottom half of the lander as floodgate. In case of a damage the 3D-printrobot could fix the layer or the astronauts could do some repairs e. g. on the top part of the lander. Ores could help to build spare parts or protection for further extensions. The glass in the lander as well in the rover must prove itself as safe. As reference we could use existing windows like Cupola.
Describe a day on the Moon for your Moon Camp astronaut crew.
A day on the Mooncamp will begin in the “Main Blob” where you can find the beds of the “moonauts”. After waking up the moonauts can take a shower, go on the toilet or brush their teeth at the bath elements in the “Community Blob”. After this morning routine the residents can grab some food of the “Farm Blob” and have the possibility to prepare it at a kitchen element in the Main Blob or they can eat storage directly in the Community Blob. When they finished breakfast, they can do some workout in one of the fitness elements in the Community Blob. If there is a life-friendly temperature outside they can do an expedition to fill the water tanks or get some specimens of the moon surface, water, ores or any interesting things they find. With the tour they could also install telescopes or do some repairs. As they return to their base, they can do some research on the specimens they got earlier. After this big amount of work the moonauts have some free time they could use to play chess, to chat with their relatives or to enjoy the incredible view out of the lander. If they are done with this, they must get another meal, the same way as before. As they finished, they must work on the expansions like the water pump system. Also, stuff like maintaining vital systems e. g. the water separator has to be done. As teambuilding activities, they must do somethinglike playing “moonball” or chess. If this wouldn ́t be part of the daily routine it won ́t be easy to survive for the residents. When the day ends, they must get dinner as every meal before. Before going to bed they have some private time. In this time, they can read a book, photograph or learn a musical instrument. All personal stuff is stored in the bed parts of the Main Blob. In the end they can find their dream of the universe in their bed and begin the next das with new power. The base has an integrated alert system, which turns on, if there are any dangerous hazards. If there is the very unlikely case that they must evacuate the base they can use the lander to undock and fly with rest fuel back to the earth. If this may not be possible, they can flee with the rover to a place, where another mission can pick them up.
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