The Design of a Permanent Lunar Research Station

by James R. Thomas, Butler Manufacturing Co, Kansas City, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


The advancement of the United States efforts in space exploration and research requires the establishment of a permanent manned lunar research station. This paper explores the possible design of such a facility. The use of a thin hedratecture dome covering a lunar depression is used to shield three multi-purpose buildings and one command and control facility. Provisions for STS shuttle landings and take-off is also explored. The multi-purpose buildings are designed using steel framing and cladding. The entire facility, capable of housing a team of thirty, could be transported by one shuttle. The buildings would arrive ready for erection within the completed dome. Steel was selected due to the low cost, high strength to weight ratio, long term durability, ready availability, quality control, and in-place availability of pre-engineering and fabrication. With the successful installation of the first facility, standardization would lower the already attractive cost for future projects. Facilities of this type could be erected quickly and inexpensively anywhere on the lunar surface.

Subject Headings: Steel structures | Moon | Space frames | Domes (structure) | Space stations | Building design | Space construction | Space structures | United States

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