Space Architecture is the theory and practice of designing and building inhabited environments in outer space. SOM collaborated with European Space Agency to Research Habitation on the Moon through Moon Village.
The concept of “Moon Village” proposed by the European Space Agency (ESA), is based on global cooperation among multiple nations and industry partners. It is working in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and SOM to implement new methods for master planning, designing, and engineering the settlement.
The master plan envisions a Moon Village sited on the rim of Shackleton Crater in the south polar region, on the “peaks of eternal light” which receive near-continuous daylight throughout the lunar year. It supports the goal of self-sufficient settlement.
Frozen volatiles and water stored in the permanently shadowed craters near the South Pole would be extracted to create breathable air and rocket propellant for transportation and industrial activities.
It relies on modular configurations of habitable structures. Primary structure maximizes the functions of centralized spaces and increases free volume. Modules are designed to be interconnected, enabling seamless mobility throughout the settlement.
The innovative structural design of the modules is a hybrid rigid-soft system, made of a rigid composite perimeter frame and an inflatable structural shell that integrates a multi-layer assembly with an environmental protection system.
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