Lunar Base Challenge - USSRC Space Academy For Educators

Lunar Base Challenge
Space Academy for Educators
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
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
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
– 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
– 2 Engineers to assemble the base and work with the
Accountant to ensure your base it up to specifications.

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