Lunar Base Challenge Space Academy for Educators 2012 Why Colonize the Moon? The Moon as a Science Laboratory • One of our original reasons for sending the Apollo astronauts to the Moon was to try to learn how the Earth formed. Over the course of six missions to the Moon NASA recovered over 840 lbs of moon rock and regolith but this is hardly even scratching the surface of Lunar exploration. By studying Moon rocks scientists can determined how Earth formed, and by excavating Comet and Asteroid impact sites they can get a glimpse of how the Solar System formed. Why Colonize the Moon? The Moon as a Supply Depot • Deep space exploration will require a large amount of food, water, fuel, and construction materials. Shipping materials from the Earth’s surface is expensive and dangerous, but all the resources we would need are can be constructed or are already available on the Moon, and would cost much less to produce and assemble in space. Why Colonize the Moon? The Moon as a Tourist Attraction • Since 2001 there have been seven space tourist that have spent time aboard the International Space Station. Since the retiring of the Space Shuttle program space tourism has been put on temporary hold, but companies such as Virgin Galactic, XCOR and Space Adventures are already taking reservations for suborbital space flights. Why Colonize the Moon? The Moon as an Observatory • Ground based telescopes have to contend with the Earth’s atmosphere, and space based telescopes are hard to maintain and upgrade. A Moon based telescope located at one of the poles, and housing a small number of resident astronomers would not have either of these drawbacks. The Lunar Base Challenge • The purpose of this activity is to create a Lunar base that adheres to preset objectives. Working in groups of four, you will create your base while meeting the Power, Food, and Monetary needs required for each component. At the end of the building session your group will present your base to the class. Contracts will be awarded based on your team’s ability to stay within budget, presentation, display and surplus resources available to entice investors into expanding the base at a future time. The Lunar Base Challenge BA330 Module • The inflatable BA330 module, produced by Bigelow Aerospace, is the basic component of your Lunar base. Each BA330 comes complete with an airlock, basic life support systems, and can hold one specialized set of equipment racks. The available racks are: – – – – – Habitat Rack Biomedical Rack Science Laboratory Rack Hydroponics Rack Robotics Rack The Lunar Base Challenge BA330 Module Cont. • The Habitat Rack contains waste recycling, exercise, sleeping and entertainment facilities to accommodate a crew of three Lunarnauts. At least one Habitat Rack is needed for any Lunar Base, and the cost for the first rack has already been added to each groups budget sheet. (A BA330 Module or Skywalker Module must be purchased to house the Habitat rack, but that decision is to be left up to your groups Budgetary Planning Committee.) The Lunar Base Challenge BA330 Module Cont. • The Biomedical Rack can house biological experiments, biomedical research projects, protein synthesis and basic medical supplies for your Lunarnauts. • The Science Module houses scientific experiments focusing on crystal growth, molecular compounds and Lunar rock and regolith research. The Lunar Base Challenge BA330 Module Cont. • The Hydroponics Rack will convert your BA330 Module into a fully functioning farm able to support your Lunarnauts and Biological experiments on a diet of nutrient rich genetically modified plankton and algae. (Our plankton burgers beat Soylent Green patties in 9 out of 10 taste tests.) • The Robotics Rack carries the tools and charging stations to maintain a fleet of both Earth controlled and independently operated robot helpers. Activities outside the confines of the Lunar base that once required an EVA suit can now be conducted safely and quickly by Robot proxy. The Lunar Base Challenge Commercial Lunar Station Skywalker • The Lunar version of Skywalker Commercial Space Station* the CLS Skywalker combines four BA330 modules on a central hub. By sharing essential components such as life support, heating and the airlock the CLS Skywalker is able reduce energy consumption by any rack except a habitat rack by half.** *The CSS Skywalker was renamed “Space Complex Alpha” in 2010. **By law Habitat Racks must carry their own independent life support systems. The Lunar Base Challenge Energy Modules • Solar Panels have been a staple of space exploration since the Vanguard 1 satellite, which launched in 1958. By building your Lunar base at one of the Moon’s poles you can keep your solar panels producing power constantly. • The prototype Fusion power plant produces clean energy by combining two Hydrogen-3 isotopes to form a normal Hydrogen atom and a high energy proton. The Fusion power plant requires a He3 Extraction facility to become fully operational. The Lunar Base Challenge Launch Facility and Mining Colony • The Moon makes a perfect staging point for exploring the outer Solar System. By mining the ore, hydrogen-3 and water ice from the Moon spacecraft can be built and outfitted outside the confines of the Earth, saving money on transporting parts and supplies into orbit, and limiting the danger of loosing critical crew and components to mishaps. The Lunar Base Challenge Lunar Rover Bay • The Lunar Rover bay provides charging facilities, storage, and repair station to outfit and maintain a fleet of Lunar vehicles that can be modified to carry research equipment, space tourists or mining equipment to the worksite. The Lunar Base Challenge Deep Space Telescope Facility • This Lunar based deep space telescope is easier to maintain than orbital based telescopes, and allows astronomers to gain better quality images by being able to upgrade and adjust the telescope as needed. The Lunar Base Challenge Your Team • As members of the Lunar Base Design Team you will need to assign roles to yourselves based on your individual strengths. Each group needs at least: – 1 Accountant to tally the costs and make sure the food and power requirements are met. – 1 Marketing Executive to write the proposal, and present your prototype to the Company CEO, and their Board of Directors. (Your Team Leader and classmates.) – 2 Engineers to assemble the base and work with the Accountant to ensure your base it up to specifications.