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.
When designing our moon camp, we concentrated mainly on functional design. The main body consists of 4 parts. Each would be built on Earth and transported to the Moon, where they would be quickly assembled and the primary base would be ready to use in one day. In the middle of the base, a greenhouse would be located where the vegetable and fruit would grow. It would be the base of the astronaut’s diet. The water would be gathered from the polar ice. From the water also the oxygen would be made Solar panels would generate electricity because they are very cheap and effective. Near the base would be a landing spot for rockets and an antenna for communication. Lastly, there would be a 3D printer where the astronauts would be able to create everything they need. The whole complex could take up to four astronauts.
Where do you want to build your Moon Camp?
We want to build our base on the South Pole because in craters there is water in the form of ice. We could easily drill it and process it. However, we wouldn’t build the base in a crater because there is no light in craters and the light is essential for our plants and solar panels which produce electricity. We would build it near Shackleton Crater because there is sunlight for around 200 earth days. Also, we know that drilling hole into the Moon’s surface is not a funny and easy thing therefore we build it on the surface.
How do you plan to build your Moon Camp? Describe the techniques and materials you would use.
Our base is very easy to build. It is divided into four parts. Each of the parts would be made on Earth and then transported to Moon. Inside of the parts, there would be oxygen and a normal atmosphere. The parts would be sealed from both sides so nothing gets in nor out. When all the parts and connectors which connect the parts would be on Moon, astronauts would arrive with a rover. With the help of the rover, they would connect the four parts and they would seal the whole body using the connectors so nothing gets in nor out. Then they could go in through the entrance, use the decompression chamber and unseal each part so the whole body would be accessible. Panels and other components would be brought by other rockets. Moreover, there would be a 3D printer so astronauts would be able to print nearly everything.
We would collect water by drilling ice from the surface in a crater. An astronaut would use a drill or a rover with a drill and he would gather the ice. The ice would be melted and through a vent, it would be pumped into a filter in the base. From the filter, it would go into water storage. We would also collect water from the air so we would even dehumidify it. All water in the base would be recycled therefore astronauts wouldn’t have to go to drill the ice very often.
In the centre of our Moon camp, we have a greenhouse, where astronauts could plant potatoes and other nutritional plants. Plants would be watered with the water collected from ice by an automatic system. Because there are many questions regarding lunar soil, firstly we would test it and in the greenhouse, we would use normal earth soil. If we found out how to use the lunar soil safely, we would use it. Also, we would study if we could use human waste as fertilizer. Other food would be sent from the Earth and it would be mainly canned food.
Running the base can take a lot of electricity, but solar panels would be able to deliver it. A very important component of our energy network would be batteries. We would use batteries that are relatively small, but very effective, meaning they could store a huge amount of energy. There are about 165 days of the dark at the place we would build our base. If one battery could power up the station for 7 days, we would need 23 batteries which isn’t much. The base would likely have to run in an energy-efficient mode during the dark season.
We would use electrolysis to separate oxygen and hydrogen from the water we would gather. The oxygen would be pumped into the base and the hydrogen could be used to create rocket fuel. The oxygen would be also recycled. The atmosphere cannot be made just from oxygen so other gasses, such as nitrogen would be brought from Earth.
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 first line of protection is a functional life support system. We would make sure that it functions well for the whole time. The second part is the defence against small particles such as mini asteroids or flying rocks. That would be covered by durable and strong materials. We took inspiration from the ISS therefore we would a thick layer of aluminium to protect the base. And the third part is the danger of great asteroids. It is very hard to defend against these. The first thing we would have to have is a complex system of sensors and satellites which would alert the astronauts about an upcoming danger soon enough to react. Then there would be a protocol of steps that would have to take place but in short, astronauts would get the most important things and they would use an emergency rocket which would get them to Earth.
Describe a day on the Moon for your Moon Camp astronaut crew.
A day of an astronaut would be slightly different every day but there would be a protocol for each day with the most important things to do. The first thing after waking up would be the control of all the systems, mainly the life supports system such as solar panels, water filter, oxygen producer, etc. After that, the astronauts would have breakfast which would consist of nutritional food. After that, each astronaut would do his job based on his specialization. A biologist would work in the greenhouse or he would do some experiments with plants. A physicist would do their experiments and other scientists too. After the morning block of experiments, there would be lunch. After lunch, there would be time for some relax and workout, because as we know, astronauts have to work out in space. In the afternoon there would be time for astronauts to go outside of the base and to do some experiments there. When outside they could go drill some ice for water, clear the solar panels from dust, care for the surface of the base, repair the base from the outside, explore the surface or other activities. At least one astronaut would have to stay inside for security purposes. After the time out and other experiments, they would have some personal time where they could study or workout. It would be followed by another system control. The system would be checked again just as it was in the morning. During the night astronauts would change on a guard again for security purposes. The guard would communicate with Earth, share results and make sure everything runs as it should. Each astronaut would get 8 hours of sleep.
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