Prototype Lunar Base Construction Using Indigenous Materials

by John Amin Happel, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Kaspar Willam, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Benson Shing, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


A lunar base must be designed to withstand harsh lunar conditions, which include severe internal pressure loads and a high radiation level. Yet to provide for economical and rapid future expansion, its main components should be easy to produce and assemble out of indigenous materials. After a survey of both the structural properties and the manufacturing procedures for various indigenous construction materials, it is concluded that cast basalt is the most suitable candidate. The primary design parameters for a lunar base are subsequently reviewed. These include internal pressure, radiation shielding, ease of construction, manufacturing procedures, and size constraints on the components. Based on these considerations, a structure composed of cast cylindrical segments is proposed, along with a construction sequence which provides for rapid assembly of the lunar base structure.

Subject Headings: Lunar materials | Space construction | Construction materials | Space colonies | Base course | Hazardous substances | Material properties | Radiation

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