Ana Emilia Hernandez, MFA Industrial Design, Moon Modules

The aerospace industry is not only imminently sending people to the Moon and Mars, but also actively pursuing the expansion of human presence in the solar system. The goal is not only to visit, but to eventually inhabit these new frontiers. Creating constructed environments in these unexplored lands will bring significant design challenges. Moon regolith is the abundant layer of the fragmental unconsolidated mantle that covers most of the lunar surface. In this project, we examined the feasibility of using compounds found readily on the Moon to develop a new type of concrete, specifically with sodium-based compounds as a binding cement and the raw regolith as the aggregate; furthermore, the integration of paraffin is also investigated as a waterproofing mechanism. Considering the limitations of space travel, we then present the Moon Module, a versatile (in-situ manufactured) outcome for this novel type of concrete. The capability to use this building material for radiation shielding, environmental endurance, thermal insulation, sealability, structural stiffness, etc. would represent a significant step towards extraterrestrial architecture construction and expansion of human presence.