Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Moon Shelter

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090526-st-moon-blanket.html

This is a neat little article about some of the ideas for creating protective habitats on the Moon. I still think they over complicate things.

The solution: put a flat roof on a small crater and cover the roof with soil. Carve the interior of the crater to be more cylindrical and live in the crater. Make sure you can pressurize it and pump in atmosphere.

You've just saved a crap load of construction costs. Crater Capping, not my idea, but one of the most cost effective as far as I'm concerned. You don't need exotic materials to protect yourself from radiation. USE DIRT!!!

Now, when it comes to hotels and nice window views of the Earth, you will need to figure out something to use to protect you then, because you'll have to be above ground for that scenario, but for everyday living, time to become mole people. :)

13 comments:

Popcorn said...

I think the best idea is probably to get a large cylindrical inflatable structure and bury it in a crater, the top couple of 'floors' could be on the surface with a view of the earth. They could cover this exposed part with that protective blanket mentioned on Space.com If you were really concerned about aesthetics I suppose you could even churn out some of the bricks made from fused regolith instead of just piling dirt on.....in addition to a sleeker hab it might help cut down on dust.

Douglas Mallette said...

I remember reading how they were looking at using the Moon dust to make a lunar version of concrete. I also agree with the inflatable structure idea, and make it honey comb style so that you could inject the wet cement stuff throughout out the wall structure. When it hardens, you have one hell of a strong building.

This could be done in tunnels too. Dig a bit, inflate a ring with air, then pull out the air as you fill it with cement. You recycle the air...as much as you can...and when the cement hardens you have a perfectly shored up tunnel.

Marcel F. Williams said...

Just put up a fence around the lunar base structures composed of metal poles and fabric (fiber glass?) and then fill it up with lunar dirt about 5 meters high. That's you need!

Karen Cramer Shea said...

I like lunar lava tubes myself.

Douglas Mallette said...

Lunar Lava tubes, have any ever been found on the Moon?

Captain Proton said...

I like the first idea, any chance we'll see any of these on the moon in our life times?

Douglas Mallette said...

Proton - If I can do anything about it, yes. :)

Jerry M. Weikle said...

Douglas, for the initial living areas a crator that has been 'capped over' would be very good idea.

You should check out the Dedmon Center at Radford University. It is an indoor basketball arena with an air supported roof--basically a fan can keep the air pressure up enough to allow the roof to exist. I think something like that on Mars would be more applicable because of the atmosphere.

However, even if an underlying supportive sturcture of piers and pylons (Basically, building or expanding the concept of 'living under a bridge' applicable to something crator size---a 1/2 mile radi. The landing platform could be built on top--like an air-craft carrier and even "Lunar Crusiers" could be park inside and then take off from the landing platform.

Douglas Mallette said...

Jerry - Exactly. And 2/3 of the place is already built...for the most part. :)

michaeldsieber said...

This is Michael Sieber, member of the NCSU Lunar Texshield team.

The Lunar Texshield was designed as a multifunctional radiation attenuation material for use on the lunar surface, on NASA's Constellation Program outpost missions. These have been scheduled to have astronauts be on the lunar surface for 180 days, with missions bringing them back to Earth. These missions will among other things, be establishing a permanent settlement.

The presence of lunar regolith offers the most resourceful/abundant form of radiation shielding, yet how would this protect one in a short amount of time? The lunar surface is essentially dust; one has to go down past 9cm to get any "solid ground." This dust problem has plaqued NASA for decades with any object with moveable parts, and is one of the main design concerns with ANY lunar device. In terms of an initial lunar outpost, one has to think about a more immediate structure which can provide short term habitation, as most likely lunar regolith will be shielding a more permanent habitat--this is the most logical solution of course. These theories have all been evaluated, including regolith bagging, regolith concrete, regolith glass laminated structures, et cetera. However, there must be an easily-erectable structure for immediate use while a more permanent base is being constructed.

We actually just won 2nd place in the undergraduate competition in the NASA/NIA RASC-AL competition this last Wednesday (6/3/09), and have been invited to attend the NSMMS forum in Las Vegas later this month (6/22-25) for the Lunar Texshield project as well. At the RASC-AL competition, the University of Maryland's "Lunar Hopper" idea won first place in our category.

If you have any questions/comments, my e-mail address is mdsieber@ncsu.edu or michaeldsieber@gmail.com, and feel free to contact me.

Douglas Mallette said...

Michael Sieber - Congrats on your success. Keep me informed on how things go. The more seriously we take Lunar Settlement, and not just Lunar Visiting, the better. :)

Anonymous said...

a problem I see with just cover a crater with regolith is that is has 222Rn in it at level the could
this come at regolith concrete at dangerous levels so when using it precaution need to be taken
like sealing the inner surface of any chamber that includes the floor to.

Douglas Mallette said...

Anon - That sentence gave me a headache. Please use punctuation and proper sentence structure, because I have no idea what you just said. lol.