During the Apollo program, astronauts lived in space on the Moon. However, as NASA and other space agencies plan to return to the Moon, it is not yet clear how we can build a house on the Moon. This article outlines some of the challenges involved.
NASA-AI SpaceFactory partnership plans to construct structures on the moon
Earlier this year, NASA and AI SpaceFactory announced plans to construct structures on the Moon. The companies are working together as part of the Relevant Environment Additive Construction Technology (REACT) program.
REACT is a multi-year collaboration aimed at developing technologies for lunar surface construction. Currently, the company is working with NASA to develop a sustainable 3D printing system for large structures on the Moon. The system will allow for a cost-effective way to build structures on the Moon.
The company is planning to build an outpost building house on the moon near Shackleton Crater. This crater has water ice for fuel and oxygen. It also offers a perpetual shadow on the interior of the crater, which could be used to harvest water ice.
The outpost will be made of three units that measure 75 square meters each. The units are designed with five meters of height. This will allow for the occupants to be above the surface and be protected from the lunar environment. The outpost will also be able to house manned rovers and scientific payloads.
Cost of delivering a kilogram of payload to the moon
Getting a kilogram of stuff to the moon is no mean feat. NASA and the private space sector aren’t immune from the myriad challenges of the space age. As such, the cost of delivering a tidbit to the moon is nothing short of a multi-billion dollar a year endeavor. Some estimates suggest the cost of delivering a kilogram to the moon can range from one million dollars to one billion dollars. NASA and the private space sector are working together to deliver said tidbit. Using the latest in lunar technologies, it may be a matter of time before the aforementioned kilogram arrives at the moon. The aforementioned cost of delivering a tidbit may be less than the cost of delivering a kilogram to Earth’s orbit, although such a cost would likely drive up the cost of a tidbit to astronomical levels.
Northrop Grumman develops living quarters for the U.S. space agency’s planned outpost in lunar orbit
Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman Corp was awarded a NASA contract worth $935 million to develop living quarters for NASA’s planned outpost in lunar orbit. The space agency will use the facility to send astronauts to the moon and prepare them for future Mars missions.
The company is developing the Habitation And Logistics Outpost (HALO), which will house astronauts and support research and science investigations. It will also serve as a base for visiting spacecraft. HALO is also part of the Artemis moon programme, which aims to send astronauts to the moon by 2024.
HALO will also provide command and control systems, docking ports for visiting spacecraft, life-support systems, data-handling capabilities, and thermal control. It will be powered by liquid hydrogen that can be replaced by the sun.