Lunar Master Plan: Hassell and European Space Agency launch pioneering habitat concept
Today marks the launch of our Lunar Habitat Master Plan – a revolutionary new concept designed in collaboration with the European Space Agency to support the development of the world’s first lunar habitat.
Designed in close collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and Cranfield University, the Lunar Habitat Master Plan — unveiled today on stage at the ESA’s Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands as part of its annual Space for Inspiration event — is the next step in the creation of the first permanent human settlement on the moon.
Working with anthropologists, psychologists, roboticists and astronauts, our concept for the Lunar Habitat Master Plan considers not just the essential elements that make a habitat liveable, but how we can create a prosperous permanent community for almost 150 people in reduced gravity.
“Hassell has come up with a very interesting design, which combines a good understanding of the lunar environment constraints and a vision for the future of human exploration of the lunar surface.”
— Advenit Makaya, Advanced Manufacturing Engineer, European Space Agency
The human-centric master plan focuses on what a settlement would need to survive and thrive on the moon — from recreational, social and active spaces, including restaurants and sports arenas, to enriching earth-based environments, such as huge greenhouses.
Developed for the ESA’s Discovery programme, the habitat system aims to support the critical work of national agencies — including NASA, ESA and Jaxa but would also cater for commercial space agencies, companies and tourists.
In a radically different approach to the monolithic shell structures previously proposed for lunar settlement, our design uses 3D-printed modular components that act as a protective outer layer. The hexapod-shaped components are assembled like building blocks, interlocking to shield the habitat from the lethal levels of radiation on the moon.
The components can be regenerated using materials sourced directly from the moon — such as lunar soil — and then 3D-printed on site at the habitat, providing the means for sustainable construction growth.
“Access to space is getting cheaper every year, so over the next two decades space travel will evolve hugely,” says Xavier De Kestelier, Head of Innovation at Hassell. “We cannot possibly predict now how a lunar community will evolve. We therefore designed a masterplan that is adaptable to change and can accommodate various types of lunar settlements in the future.”
Header image by Imigo.It
Watch European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthais Maurer and Hassell’s Head of Innovation Xavier de Kestelier reveal the design of the world’s first lunar habitat on New Scientist.