Date : 30/09/2019
3rd place - Non ESA Member States
2.1.a. Where would you locate your shelter on the Moon’s surface?
Close to the Lunar Equator
2.1.b. Explain your choice from question 2.1.
The Oceanus Procellarum is a large province on the near side of the Moon near the equator that has high abundances of KREEP and a high distribution of Basalt. Studies have shown the basalt suggests possible volcanic movement in the moon’s mantle, which is a field we want to research about on the moon. The basalt can also be used as a decent building material, and with high quantities of it contained in the local regolith, we will be using it to build our moon camp’s infrastructure using 3D printing technology. In addition, space probes have discovered an underground lava tube system possibly created by volcanic action in this region, these will be the basis where we will build our moon camp.
2.2.a. Where would you build the shelter: on the surface or underground?
2.2.b. Explain your choice to question 2.2.
Our settlement is located at the Oceanus Procellarum, where ancient volcanic movements created underground lava tubes deep under the surface. These tunnels are natural shelters that provide protection from asteriod impacts, radiation, and other possible hazards. Also an underground base will be easier for us to study the possible tunnel system and the compounds of deeper layers of the moon.
3.1. What will be the size of your Moon Camp?
Our lunar rover is basically divided into two parts. First, there are two semi-underground living bunkers for 6 astronauts to rest and work in. They are about 20 meters deep and cover an area of about 30 square meters. They are semi-arched. The second is a basalt survey vehicle, about 2 meters high, elliptical, 1.5 meters in diameter, with a basalt storage tank with a volume of 2.5 liters, and a solar panel.
3.2.a. How many people will your Moon Camp accommodate?
5 – 6 astronauts
3.2.b. Explain your choice to question 3.2.
The mission is divided into three phases. In the early construction phase, we need more than two astronauts with architectural expertise. At the same time, all astronauts need to participate in the construction of camps and laboratories. At the same time, an astronaut is needed to make overall planning of materials. After completing this phase of the mission, the three astronauts involved in the construction will be mainly responsible for the overall arrangement of food, energy and water resources. In the mid-term basalt mining stage, the remaining three astronauts will mainly complete. Emphasis will be placed on the use of machines and specific location concerns. The final experimental phase was completed by three astronauts involved in the mining, so the whole process required the participation of five to six astronauts.
3.3.a Which local Moon resources would you use?
Regolith (Lunar soil)
3.3.b. Explain your choice to question 3.3.
It is highly inconvenient to bring supplies from Earth to the moon, especially heavy supplies such as building materials and water. Therefore, the main structure of our moon settlement will be built from lunar soil, using 3D printing technology, with basalt for added stiffness. During the exploration, the team will keep an eye out for water ice supplies and underground ice layers, to keep a steady water supply. The surface hemisphere entrance has solar panels to generate power for the base, maximizing the usage of sunlight and space radiations. For added power, a small nuclear fusion reactor is placed at the bottom of the settlement.
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 moon has a lot of resources that can be used for humans. Our settlement is located in natural lava tubes created by ancient volcanic movement, creating a natural shelter from radiation, asteroids, and outer space hazards. The lunar regolith is fine and suitable for constructing. We’re using 3D printing technology to build the main structure of our settlement, decreasing the rocket load by hundreds of tons. The volcanic region that we are building our settlement, has a rich supply of various minerals, including radioactive elements. This gives the possibility of a small nuclear reactor to power the settlement. Without an atmosphere, the moon is exposed to direct sunlight and solar radiation. Combined with magnetic minerals on the moon, the surface hemisphere generates an electric field. With it, it’s possible to generate electricity during a solar wind. There are also solar panels for added power.
3.5. Describe and explain the design of the entrance to your Moon Camp.
The entrance to the moon camp is above the lunar surface. It has a hemispherical shape, and at the middle is the elevator to go underground. In severe situations, the hemisphere can be closed and lowered down into the base. The hemisphere has solar panels to power the lunar base.
3.6. Explain how the Moon Camp provides protection for the astronauts.
The lava tubes provide a natural shelter for the astronauts. In extreme situations, the lunar base can go all the way down the lava tubes, to prevent immediate contact with asteroids. The entrance can also generate an electric field to protect the base from solar winds and produce electricity.
3.7. Describe the location and arrangements of the sleeping and working areas.
The communication center is placed right beneath the entrance hemisphere, in order to detect potential dangers, and keeps contact with Earth at any time. The sleeping areas and placed under the Command center in the middle of the base, and can monitor everything happening at the communication center in case of an emergency. The lab and storage are under that.
4.1. Describe what will be the power source for the shelter.
We use the sun to generate electricity. There are Solar panels on our moon land’s roofs, and they can rotate to the sun by the induction system. We will first convert solar energy into thermal energy, and then use temperature difference to convert thermal energy into electrical energy. We also have a small nuclear reactor in the settlement for added power.
4.2. Describe where the water will come from.
We will not bring a lot of oxygen and hydrogen to the moon land (because they are very heavy), and we will use the local water ice. If there is excess water, we can also electrolyze it to make oxygen and hydrogen.
4.3. Describe what will be the food source.
We’ll bring tablets that store all kinds of nutrients so that they won’t take up too much place. Because the tablets are too tasteless, I think we will have a machine that can use the image to make the flavor more plentiful. For example, if you want to drink some juice, but you only have a bottle of water, then you just have to turn the machine on, and you will get the taste of the juice.
5.1. What would you like to study on the Moon?
The difference between the two sides of the moon has always been a major question. And there have been many research and discoveries about it. Almost all Maria on the moon Is located on the near side of the moon, covering more than 30%, while the far side has a mere 2% coverage. One explanation is that gigantic impacts in the early stage of the moon’s formation on the near side of the moon, but the younger basalt layers and the heat producing elements suggests a warmer mantle, which can be a indicator of more recent volcanic actions, and even a liquid moon core. “… due to a concentration of heat-producing elements under the crust on the near side, seen on geochemical maps obtained by Lunar Prospector’s gamma-ray spectrometer, which would have caused the underlying mantle to heat up, partially melt, rise to the surface and erupt. ” (Shearer, Charles K.; et al. (2006). “Thermal and magmatic evolution of the Moon”. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry. 60 (1): 365–518) Since the 1970s, scientists have been studying lunar tunnels and caves created by ancient volcanic movement. In 2011, Indian and Japanese scientists have discovered a lava tube in the Marius Hills region, these tunnels and irregular depressions can potentially be used for human settlements, since they are sheltered from radiation, extreme temperature and other dangers surface settlements may encounter. In the first stage, the settlers will be focusing on researching the lunar regolith, the geographic properties of the mare, radioactive elements, and the potential mineral resources. Settlers will start to research surrounding areas for a possible place to expand the shelter in the second stage, especially, the lava tunnel systems, which could be the basis of a much larger settlement, even a space station.