A Generic Inflatable Structure for a Lunar/Martian Base

by Willy Z. Sadeh, Colorado State Univ, Fort Collins, United States,
Marvin E. Criswell, Colorado State Univ, Fort Collins, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


The first steps in the human expansion into space, which inevitably will occur during the next century, consist of the establishment of a human-tended base on the Moon followed by human missions and a human-tended base on Mars. Structures for both lunar and Martian bases face similar requirements and design criteria despite the differences in environmental conditions at these two sites. Consequently, the Moon is a natural testbed for both lunar and Martian structures. In both cases, the internal pressure is the major applied load, as the external pressure at both sites is structurally negligible. An inflatable structure made of a thin membrane is highly efficient in resisting the dominant internal pressure load. A generic modular inflatable structure that can be used on both the Moon and Mars is proposed and described.

Subject Headings: Space colonies | Human and behavioral factors | Moon | Space exploration | Space structures | Mars | Load factors

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