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Lunar Research Station Design Challenge

Final Design
Mr. McKinsey, Pleasant Valley Intermediate
--Submitted and revised by Jacob, Katie, Elizabeth and John
Cogan’s Courageous Crew

photo of students holding model

The photographs show our whole class holding the model. We are proud of our work!

Revised Explanations for Lunar Research Station Design

Note: These plans and explanations have been revised based on Dr. Heldmann’s responses.

  • Location

We chose crater Peary. We chose this crater because there is said to be frozen water that we might be able to drink. We put our station on the crater floor half in the crater wall and half out. We put it half in and half out because if we put it all in the dark, we wouldn’t have a greenhouse. If we put it all in the lit side, the astronauts wouldn’t be able to sleep well. We decided to have an emergency tunnel at the back of the Station in case something happens to the two airlocks. 

We saw a NASA DVD about using robots for exploration, and we think that robots should build as much of the station as possible so that astronauts would not get hurt. They can do the digging ahead of people going to the moon.

                        --Submitted and revised by Katelyn, Michael, Jolene, Sara and Ian.

  • Station Design

Our team has decided to make the Research Station out of titanium. The sections are built on earth, just like the ISS sections. We chose to make it out of titanium because it is the strongest metal and it’s bendable. The Station’s sections fit in the Ares rocket. It is 4.5 meters wide to fit inside the diameter of an Ares rocket fuselage. We will use titanium from the Moon to make additional structures, but the life-critical pieces will come from earth. We made the station an I-shape to hold all the rooms. We made the greenhouse very big to have enough plants.

The laboratories are divided into sections based on the level of risk. We have a high-risk area that has positive pressure to keep contaminants out, so moon samples will stay pure. We have a general laboratory and research library for research that doesn’t involve moon samples. We have a decontamination area that everyone going to the greenhouse or laboratory has to walk through, so we’ll keep our pollution away from the greenhouse and moon samples, and we’ll keep moon dust out of the Station.  

                        --Submitted and revised by Sara, Justin, Katrina, Anthony and Russell

  • Energy & Life Support

We are using nuclear power to generate power for water pumps, electricity, and for life support. We are using solar panels on the lit part of the Station, with some battery backups. We want to use nuclear power because it takes up only a little space, is lightweight, and doesn’t need battery backup. We figured out we should pack food that lasts a long time. We will recycle water by putting the dirty water through a nuclear powered strainer. When it comes out the other side, it will be all cleaned and go back into the Station, completely usable again. For oxygen, we decided to use a greenhouse because plants are light and easy to carry, and they provide oxygen when we breathe.

                        --Submitted by Laurel, Christian, Mia and Christopher

  • Protection and Contamination Prevention

Due to the lack of an atmosphere on the Moon, there should be a device in the spacesuits that blows out hot and cold air.  In the station we should get a heater and an air conditioner for the astronauts. There should be a scanner system on the spacesuits to scan all the dust off. There should be a jet pack powered by nitrogen so we don’t get our germs on the Moon. There should be a device that sucks up grey water, carbon dioxide and toxic waste. It will be recycled and cleaned into a holding tank.

  • Human Factors and Communication

The recreation room is also a dining room, and a place to relax. Each bedroom holds only two people, so they have a little privacy. We have a privacy room for people to unwind and get stress out. We have a research library for studying and for quiet time. We have an oxygen storage room so that if something goes wrong, we have oxygen right there. We don’t see what other rooms we would need.

To communicate, we use walkie-talkies for on the Moon, and ham radio to talk to earth because that is how real astronauts do it.

 Explanation for the model and photographs

The photographs show our concept model. A concept model does not try to look exactly like the real thing. It is to show how parts of a system work together. Our Lunar Research Station would launch in seven different pieces, which fit together to look like a giant letter I.

The model shows the parts that are buried in the wall of Crater Peary. The other parts are outside, on the crater floor. The model is made to a scale of 2 centimeters = 1 meter. Scale is important so we can know it will all work.

line drawing of floor plan

line drawing of aft section floor plan

overall arrangement of forward, central core and aft sections

          Scale: 2 cm = 1.0 meters

Cross Section of 4.5-meter diameter Lunar Research Station Module.

            This shows how you can have a 4.5-meter diameter outer shell that fits on an Ares rocket, an inner shell 0.25 meters from the outer shell, and then inside living space 3.0 meters wide and 3.0 meters tall. You can put all the pipes and electrical wires in the spaces from the interior walls to the inner shell. The thick shells will keep the Station insulated. We put in pictures of the STS-121 crewmembers to show you the scale. 

            This design works for both Stations by McKinsey’s Moon Maniacs and Cogan’s Courageous Crew.

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NASA Official: Mark León
Last Updated: May 2005
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