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Pioneers gallery

Moon Camp Pioneers Gallery 2019-2020

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: Cynthia

Tudor Vianu National High School of Computer Science  Bucharest    Romania 15 to 16 years old External viewer for 3d project
Project description
Describe your Moon Camp project.

Cynthia, our Moon Camp project, consists of a lunar base accommodating five astronauts. The settlement will be situated in the vicinity of a lava tube, on the south pole of the Moon. We designed a camp that has two main parts: one inside the lava tube, where the humans will live, and the other one on the surface of the Moon, close to the lava tube, which is hexagon-shaped. Connected to each side of the hexagon, there are five hemispheres serving as greenhouses, laboratories and entrance. The two parts of the settlement are connected through an elevator from the lava tube to the surface and through a hallway from the elevator to the hexagon. In addition to the main building, we considered building a garage for rovers and other vehicles and a wall of solar panels.

Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?

We intend to build our Moon Camp in a lava tube near the Shackleton Crater that tunnels into the South Pole of the Moon. We chose this location because it is known to be permanently illuminated by the Sun. As a consequence, we can constantly harness the solar energy. Moreover, the measurements carried out by NASA’s Lunar Prospector indicate high amounts of hydrogen inside the Shackleton Crater, which denotes the possible existence of ice. As previously mentioned, in a smaller lava tube, one part of the lunar base will be constructed. It will embody the bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom and the gym, as the temperature there is constant at 20°C. Furthermore, the lava tube provides great protection against cosmic and solar radiation and against small meteorites that strike the surface of the Moon. The astronauts will also have easier access to the underground resources.

How do you plan to build your Moon Camp? Describe the techniques and materials you would use.

Building Cynthia out of materials imported from Earth would be too expensive, so we have to use lunar resources instead. A robot similar to NASA’s RASSOR will harvest the lunar soil and another robot will combine the obtained regolith with plastics from astronauts’ refuse to form a polymer composite concrete. Then, a 3D printer will do the remaining work, which consists in creating walls, furniture and tools out of this mixture while working completely automatically. The exterior walls need to have a thickness of six meters to provide protection against radiation and the inside layers of the Moon Camp’s walls will look similar to the interior of a space suit. These layers will also be entirely built by robots. As a consequence, the astronauts are safe and we save large sums of money.

Water
Food
Electricity
Air

Water is essential to sustain life on the Moon. Being too expensive to transport it from Earth, we must extract it from the lunar regolith. The mining of the soil will be done in the Shackleton Crater located in the vicinity of the lunar South Pole. Then, the gathered soil, containing as much as 20% ice water according to the data returned by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, will be heated and purified assuring the daily need of water for five astronauts. An astronaut can consume up to 4.5L of water per day.

The food required by our astronauts needs to provide about 3000 calories per day, calcium and vitamin D, which are necessary to prevent the degradation of the bones. In the early stages, they will consume packed food sent from Earth and gradually replace their meals with the food grown in the agriculture modules, which use a hydroponic system. This involves misting a nutrient rich solution and water in a small, pressurized chamber containing the roots of the plant. We will be able to grow soybeans, sweet potatoes, onions, quinoa and lettuce.

Our Moon research station will be powered by solar panels positioned on the rims of the Shackleton Crater because of the almost continuous sunlight which this area receives. Part of the harnessed energy will be stored in a battery used in case of lunar eclipses. The transport of the shipment will be done through wires protected by shock absorbent materials such as Kevlar and Graphene. In the incipient stages, the station will function on battery banks brought from Earth which will be transformed into emergency power storage once the photovoltaic system has been built.

An average person needs approximately 0.84 kg of oxygen per day, so for five people we will need to produce around 4.2 kg per day. The main way in which we will produce oxygen is through carbothermic reduction of regolith, which contains an abundant source of oxides such as SiO2. The lunar soil’s metallic oxides are reduced with methane resulting carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Then, the carbon monoxide reacts with hydrogen to form water and methane, which will be recycled in the first reaction. Then, the water will be electrolyzed to form oxygen and hydrogen.

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.

The absence of atmosphere on the Moon implies dangerous situations for the astronauts, so it is our role to protect them. Six meters thick exterior walls made of lunar regolith and plastics, filled in between the layers with water (to protect the astronauts against solar flares), are enough to keep the astronauts safe from powerful radiation and from asteroids. Extreme temperatures on the Moon do not pose problems because the interior part of Cynthia has a similar role to the one of a space suit: it is made up of layers performing different functions, such as the ripstop layer, the layers of Mylar insulation and the bladder layer, so a constant temperature of 18-24°C can be kept and enough oxygen can be provided.

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

The establishment of our Moon Camp lunar outpost has an essential role in the development of the scientific insight regarding the Universe with the help of the information gathered by the astronaut crew. The perception of a day on the Moon is abstract, although an astronaut’s schedule requires maintaining the natural circadian rhythm, due to the direct effect on human health. Thereby, the crew will strictly adhere to a rigorous timetable. The program implies waking up at 6 a.m. of a 24 hours hypothetical day. The area designed for 8 hours of daily resting is the Sleep Section, placed on the Underground Level, composed of five small cubicles, each incorporated with a sleeping bag. The air distribution must be controlled permanently and the ventilation must be performant in order to reduce the risk of oxygen deprivation. Considering the environment’s microgravity, the morning routine and personal hygiene activities are more difficult, as the water supply is limited and prioritized for consumption. All five astronauts eat three meals every day, providing the essential proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, assuring a balanced nutrition, the storage unit and the greenhouse being fundamental structures on the Surface Level. In addition, the crew must perform daily tasks, mainly maintenance duties that ensure safety and sustainability or administrating and supervising experiments in the two laboratories located on the Surface Level. The daily checkups on the support systems are vital, because its design reduces supply requirements, recycling the majority of the waste. In order to reduce stress and to preserve muscular mass and its tone, the crew members spend approximately two and a half hours in the Gym Area practicing with the exercise machines, as the microgravity favors loss of strength in the muscles. By the end of the day, when all tasks are fulfilled, the astronauts can spend their evenings as they wish, having a break from their busy schedule.


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