SinterHab: the construction of a lunar base from the ground which is more real than you think




SinterHab: the construction of a lunar base from the ground which is more real than you think

The race to build the research station on the moon recently increased markedly: the various methods and design solutions have been actively studied in several developed countries. Only in the last few months, the European Space Agency (ESA) proposed the idea of a lunar base, “printed on the 3D-printer”, and the Russian space agency Roscosmos has expressed a desire to build a research facility on the moon by 2037.

Today we will speak about international design agency Architecture Et Cetera (A-ETC), which will share ideas on the construction of a lunar base SinterHab , consisting of several parts that resemble bubbles, protected fiber material created from the lunar dust.


Design team under Thomas Ruzeka, Katarina Eriksson and Dr. Ondrej Dule in cooperation with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory are combining common effort to develop the plan to build the lunar station you want to stay near the Shackleton crater, located at the south pole of the moon.

As a basis for the station was taken SinterHab NASA idea to create a mobile 3D-printer that could use lunar dust (regolith) to produce material with a long name Microwave Sinterator Freeform Additive Construction System, or just – MS-FACS. Because of the unique properties of the regolith – a very small size and the presence of iron nanoparticles – and the specific impact of microwave radiation, the material can be effectively heated to its melting point, and then create from it something like a ceramic substance. These results were obtained by researchers at Washington State University, based on man-made pieces of regolith provided by NASA.




Harvester regolith

Earlier this year, NASA has described the use of a special module for solar cells, which could collect regolith, and then fill it in a special robotic arm with a microwave printed head on the end. Installation of such a unit on the rover ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer), would allow him to collect the necessary construction lunar soil and use it in any form and place. As for the station SinterHab, that such material could be used to build a shield base from micrometeorites and radiation, as well as in the construction of roads and the lunar landing sites.


SinterHab design has some similarities to the lunar base, the proposed ESA, but in this case it does not require a combination of regolith other mined materials, and the building of one single dome. Instead, plan to use a few compact dome-like air bubbles in the water. This approach, first, will combine everything into the general structure, and secondly, to create as many “rooms” as needed, just adding to the design. According to A-ETC main structure will consist of five dome-like rooms, which will be home to eight people and still have room for laboratories.


Moreover, designers SinterHab say that each such station will have enough space for the garden, which will be part of bioregenerativnoy support systems for air and water. Database design involves the use of systems for agriculture and “natural” light sources. In A-ETC believes that the use of the gardens will not only get fresh food, but also raise the overall morale of astronauts.


From the words of designer, SinterHab was just the first experiment and a model, through which she was able to obtain the necessary funding for its creation. Currently under development base SinterHab 2.0.

Of course, until the moment when the moon first colonists set foot, it may take a few more decades, but now we can look at what might look like the first lunar colony.

Tags: NASA , SinterHab , moon base


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