Construction of a Far-Term (2020+AD) Lunar Base

by James Wade, Lockheed Engineering Co, Houston, United States,
George W. Morgenthaler, Lockheed Engineering Co, Houston, United States,
Alex J. Montoya, Lockheed Engineering Co, Houston, United States,
Ann Campbell, Lockheed Engineering Co, Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


Several case studies have been performed which provide interesting insights into the design and operation of a lunar base. Yet few of these studies have addressed the specific steps which must be taken to construct such a lunar base. The study reported in this paper was undertaken to define the general system requirements for the construction of a 'far-term' lunar base. By a 'far-term' lunar base we mean a lunar base utilizing indigenous lunar materials in its construction. The far-term lunar base might follow after the initial pre-fabricated, landed modules which are likely to comprise the earliest return to the Moon in the years 2000-2020. The study utilized data common to a similar study conducted at the Center for Space Construction (CSC) for the construction of the near-term lunar base, the difference between the two bases being the assumption that the near-term base operational experiments had performed regolith handling and processing requirements which could then be used to fabricate structures from indigenous materials. Utilizing historical data and engineering estimates regarding commonalities between the near-term and far-term bases such as Heavy Lift Launch Vehicles, Earth/Moon transfer vehicles, spacesuits, space equipment technology, risk philosophy, and funding assumptions, the conceptual design and capabilities of the far-term lunar base were projected. From these estimations of future capablities the system construction requirements were established.

Subject Headings: Lunar materials | Space construction | Construction materials | Base course | Building design | Case studies | Prefabrication | Information management

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