Lunar Oasis

by Michael B. Duke, NASA Johnson Space Cent, Houston, United States,
John Niehoff, NASA Johnson Space Cent, Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


The Lunar Oasis emphasizes development toward self-sufficiency in order to reduce dependence on the Earth for resupply and to enable expansion utilizing indigenous resources. The Oasis Phase includes: (1) habitation and work facilities for 10 people; (2) capability for extraction of volatile consumables (H2O, O2, N2, etc.) from indigenous resources for resupply of losses and filling of reservoirs; and (3) a highly closed life support system, including food production. In the Consolidation Phase, the base grows from 10 to 30 crewmembers. Lunar resources are used for expanding the lunar foothold, including construction of habitats, extraction of metals for the fabrication of products for maintenance and repair, and expansion of the power system. The strategy does not produce propellants for space transportation. A ten year scenario is laid out, which contains all elements needed to allow the base to enter a self-expanding Utilization Phase. Three lunar missions per year, two cargo missions and one crew flight are required. At the end of a decade, the base is producing more than it requires for its continued support, although it is unlikely to be completely self-sufficient.

Subject Headings: Space construction | Space colonies | Space exploration | Moon | Space structures | Space life support systems | Space frames

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