Working with Mark Hempsell, twice President of the BIS with over 40 years’ experience as a spacecraft system engineer, and using our architects own high-quality living standards, we created a prototype, considering all the necessary requirements needed to protect us from radiation and solar storms, while still functioning as a relatively “normal” home.
The Floor Plan
The three-bedroom home features a large main bedroom, with an en-suite, as well a separate WC and utilities room. The living space is all open plan, with the first floor containing the kitchen, living room and dining area.
The most significant difference is the switch to living space on the top floor, with bedrooms on the lower. This reversal is in place as people spend significantly more time in their bedrooms asleep than they do in living rooms and kitchens. Therefore, bedrooms require that extra level of radiation protection provided by the first floor and roof.
Amenities would be the same as Earth, without gas, meaning electricity, water, internet and, most importantly, air would be required to enter, and in some cases exit the home as waste.
The kitchen and bathroom, as well as utility room is at the rear of the home, with waste then collected and channelled out of the rear of the home through pipes and refuse collection points.
About Radiation on the Moon:
There are two sources of radiation which can be found on the moon. Radiation shielding and thicker walls are in place to protect residents of the moon from:
When the Sun emits bursts of radiation, it has the potential to rapidly kill anyone who is unshielded. Storms can last as long as a week and the shielding to protect from this is around 100kg/m2 of materials which must have no gaps within it.
This is the type of radiation that is on the moon as a constant and is at a factor of four during the 11 year solar cycle. In this case long term exposure can impact a person’s health. There are far fewer particles than a solar storm, but it does require more shielding. The amount of material needed to protect a person is around seven to 10 tonnes/m2 in order to get Earth surface levels of the radiation. Due to this, the shielding does not need to be completely enclosing, which allows for windows in the home, with shutters then providing protection against solar storms.
What is Basalt?
Basalt is a material that is found on earth as well as both the Moon and Mars. It’s a dark-colored, fine-grained igneous rock that is found most commonly as an extrusive rock, for example lava flow.
A large portion of the moon’s surface is underlain by lava flow and flood basalts, which is known as “lunar Maria”. This has seen large portions of the Moon’s surface covered in basalt flows, providing a natural resource for building property.