Mooncamp challenge
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Ant Nest Moon Camp – Moon Camp Challenge
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  • Ant Nest Moon Camp
Date : 30/09/2019
Qualification : 3rd place - Non ESA Member States
Country : China
Location : Shanghai

2.1.a. You are about to land on the Moon. You have to make some decisions about the location of your settlement. Where would you locate your shelter on the Moon’s surface?
Close to the Lunar Poles

2.1.b. Explain your choice from question 2.1.
The temperature is much better than other districts on the moon, and there is constant sun light at there, it is good for the plants and algae, which is the most important source of food and oxygen for our living and is the way to recycle the carbon dioxide. Sun light can be the best power source for our camp as well, keeping sufficient electricity is the first rule of living on the moon. Maybe we could find and mine plenty of water ice on the Poles. It also could resolve the water problems for all living creatures, including us and plants.

2.2.a. Where would you build the shelter: on the surface or underground?

2.2.b. Explain your choice to question 2.2.
We are planning to build our home in one of big lava tube, which is convenient to expend and we do not need to dig many of the basalts on the Moon. Although there are most of rooms in the lava tube are built, we still need some buildings on the ground. Such as the laboratory, plants room and the exit of our Moon Camp. To avoid these building from those small or big meteorites from the Space and the strong radiation, we are thinking about using solider, thicker materials as the walls for those building.

3.1. What will be the size of your Moon Camp?
The whole Moon Camp will be over 1000 m2 including many functional rooms: Under the ground: Central Control Room Bedroom Bathroom Emergency Room Dining Room Gym Store Room Recycle Room Multiple Function Room On the surface: Port and Laboratory Garage Farm Solar batteries cluster So we decide to design a Moon Camp like an ant nest. Every room is not dependent on each other. If one of the room is unavailable, it will not impact other rooms. That means we can use other area instead. Farm is used for generating oxygen and food, the bigger, the better.

3.2.a. How many people will your Moon Camp accommodate?
2 astronauts

3.2.b. Explain your choice to question 3.2.
We do not have enough confidence to feed too many people with limited resources. So we think 2 astronauts is a safe number for us. If we have enough experiences for living on the Moon in several days, we will think about sending more people to the Moon.

3.3.a. Which local Moon resources would you use?
•Water ice
•Regolith (Lunar soil)

3.3.b. Explain your choice to question 3.3.
Water ice: The water is the most important for living creatures of course. It is not only necessary for us, but also plants. Unfortunately, it is impossible to recycle every drop of water, and the water will be lost every open doors or windows. Although we have got the water recycling system, mining water ice in the Moon is the best choice for us, it can be supplement our water resource and be a good backup, sufficient water also could be good oxygen backup resource. Regolith: We will think about using regolith to make some buildings on the surface of the Moon. If it can be made as bricks, we could use them. Sunlight: Sunlight can be the major power source of our camp. It can provide enough energy with solar batteries. Our robots can take the solar batteries so that they can work more. It is also necessity for our farms, plants and algae need sunlight to grow, food and oxygen will be produced in the process. Sunlight also is a heat source for low temperature.

3.4. Explain how you plan to build your project on the Moon. You should include information about the materials and building techniques you are planning to use. Highlight the unique features of your design.
The whole Moon Camp looks like an ant nest. The structure of each room is independent. But we have connection pipes between them. Besides lab, farm and solar power, most of our rooms are underground to avoid the meteorites and radiation. We are planning to bring some key equipment to the moon for 3D printer. We will assemble the 3D printer on the moon. Most of rooms will be printed by the 3D printer. We leverage lunar soil as the major material for building. The major power source will be solar energy. We will store enough energy into solar batteries. Most of our daily living goods are also made by 3D printer. We will use polyethylene as major material.

3.5. Describe and explain the design of the entrance to your Moon Camp.
We design a separate cabin door as the entrance to the Moon camp. All the walls in the cabin are transparent. So, we can observe the environment outside the camp before the astronauts go out. The door is seamless and controlled by air valve. After the astronaut goes out, the door will be closed automatically. We have a pipe from the entry cabin to the rooms underground.

3.6. Explain how the Moon Camp provides protection for the astronauts.
We use polyethylene to make protection clothes. The clothes shield the astronauts from a danger. We also build a transparent face shell using polyethylene. The astronauts will wear the special clothes and face shell to protect them against risk from the space when they go out for scientific research. We build a swimming pool in the gym underground. The astronauts could swim and play in the pool. The water will make the astronauts relax and protect them against meteorites and radiation.

3.7. Describe the location and arrangements of the sleeping and working areas.
We have got entry, laboratory, farm, garage, solar batteries on the surface and living room, central control room, gym underground. Laboratory: The building has two compartments, where astronauts can change their space suits and use the toilet, then go out from another separate cabin door. Outside the building there is a radar that can receive information from the Earth. The circular roof can block radiation and aerolites. Besides working in the lab, the astronauts spend most of time in these rooms underground. The rooms underground are protected against meteorites and radiation. These rooms are connected by transparent pipes. They could have a safe and good rest there.

4.1. Describe what will be the power source for the shelter.
We are planning to put many solar cells in the different area on the Moon, first, nearby our Camp of course. We will need to put about 2 km2 ~5 km2 as daily power source. We also need to deploy some solar cells as a circle, of course, the center of the circle is our Moon Camp, it must be more convenient to travel to every cell. We also need some fuel batteries nearby the solar cells to keep power in order to deal with the special situation like the eclipse on the Moon.

4.2. Describe where the water will come from.
Although we are at the Polar of Moon, we will determine to mine some water ice as backup resource. The recycling system is the No.1 choice that we need. We still need to save every drop of water for everything: drinking, watering the plants, washing and so on, even our pees, which is a little yuck 🙁 .

4.3. Describe what will be the food source.
We will build a big warm room for the leafy greens and algae, the bigger, the better. Because the more leaves can provide more photosynthesis area, which will produce more oxygen, and they also provide more food for us. The algae are good food, too, which are very simple to feed, and it can be piled up in many staggered layers, the utilization of space is important as well.

5.1. What would you like to study on the Moon?
Firstly, we are planning to record physiological parameters of us and figure out the difference between the Moon and the Earth. The results will tell us if we can take more people from the Earth to the Moon. Then we should research how the plants and algae turn out. And record how much Oxygen, water and light they need. Moreover, we need to know if the plants could grow well in the low gravity environment. If then, we can feed more vegetables and fruits on the Moon in order to provide enough food for other people sent from the Earth in the future. Last but not least, we also need to know if there are other resources we could use directly on the Moon. Especially the lunar soil, we will study if we can use them further, for example, smelting metal and oxygen, it seems that we are becoming gold metallurgy. If we figure out an easy way to product metal, we could make more things even building with them.

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