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LUNAR LIVING: A generative-based morphology for inhabiting moon craters - B.Arch final thesis

Author: Eduardo Santos / Advisor: Ana Rolim 

Catholic University of Pernambuco (UNICAP)

NASA plans to launch a series of moon missions in 2020 to establish a human presence on the lunar surface, marking a new era of space exploration. This thesis proposes a habitat design for the moon, shaped by the morphological characteristics of lunar craters and guided by a parametric code. The habitat consists mainly of inflatable modules designed to house living, working, and communal areas, ensuring sustainable habitation on the moon.

The design employs Controlled Ecological Life-Support Systems (CELLS) to manage resources like water, oxygen, agriculture, and waste. Inflatable structures are chosen for their adaptability and deployability, crucial for functioning in space environments. Modularity, a key feature of inflatable structures, allows for flexibility and growth, exemplified by projects like the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

Understanding the harsh lunar environment, including temperature extremes and radiation exposure, informs the design process. Craters offer advantages for habitation due to their natural bowl-shaped forms, providing protection from radiation and temperature fluctuations. A generative code developed using Rhinoceros and Grasshopper software adapts the habitat design to various crater sizes and configurations, facilitating prototype testing and implementation.

Aerial view of prototypical setting in a moon crater

Justification of overall design direction concerning the nature of the structures to be used and the site choice on the moon

Timeline showing evolution of flying technique

Type tree (Adrover, 2015) & inflatable typologies (Mclean and Silver, 2015)

Contrasting design approaches: The isolated object and the systemic approach adopted in the project

Design guidelines, concepts, and site-related issues

Fractal Typologies

The project's site on the South pole of the moon

Table with input considered to generate craters of simple typology: From the diameter of the circumference it is possible to calculate the other morphological elements. Adapted from Heinken et al (1991)

Simulations of 1km, 400m, and 150m craters of simple typologies generated from the code developed on Grasshopper.

Implanting modules in crater being tested

Part of the Grasshopper code created for the project

Result of code as a base for the design development with internal (grey), and vertical circulation flows (red) indicated below.

Proposed modules

The program displayed in modules

The production module

Public space module

Housing module

Mixed-use Module

First floor plan

Overall section

Aerial 3d view of setting

Exterior view of the setting

View of one of the access platforms

Exterior view of modules

Interior view of public space module

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