Moony (IGLUNA)

In the ESA_Lab pilot project coordinated by the Swiss institute, multidisciplinary teams of students from all over Europe, supervised and supported by their academic institutions, are called upon to develop a series of modular demonstrators inspired by the context of a lunar habitat. The results are integrated in a habitat in another extreme conditions: inside a glacier. This worked as parallel for a lunar lava-tube, where the hope is to find water in form of ice. Our project, being a link between the actually built habitat and its vision on the Moon, tried to picture a habitat and a mission development which could appeal imagination, balancing creativity with solid case-studies from the scientific literature.
What

Product & Scenario Design

When

2018/19

Context

ESA_Lab IGLUNA network of projects

Team

Monodisciplinary small team in multidisciplinary network

My role

Overall project, I focused on the research about psychology in ICE, parametric 3D modelling, video, exhibition design

IGLUNA Network

Success in an interdisciplinary, inter-university and intercultural project can only be achieved when each team becomes aware of the overall result and assumes maximum responsibility for its own module, interfaces with other projects and coordination with all teams. To this end, regular meetings and status updates were organised.  We have participated in three events within the network, at the ETH Zurich, at CERN in Geneva to culminate in the Field Campaign, an exhibition of two weeks, which took place at the Klein Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Research

In the need to first tackle this project, we researched on a large literature of projects and studies on potential habitats for interplanetary human exploration. We found a complexity of thematics, and a set of partial and contrasting solutions. Our habitat Moony eventually came out of a process of decision-making based on the identification of the most convincing alternatives.

Development

In the first phase, our tradeoff verged on the need to reduce volume and weight, while enhancing habitability and protection. We opted for technologies such as inflatable hubs and ISRU based 3D printing.
Secondly, we focused on the need for automation of the construction and how to simplify at best the process to avoid unexpected behaviours during the assembly. We designed the process step by step and added expedients to overcome potential risks, for example a track to guide the inflation. In order to be able to respond to potential emergencies (i.e. cave’s collapses), we designed a shell printable through ISRU technologies offered by the company d-shape, which had already collaborated with ESA for the Moon Outpost.
Finally, we studied the psychology related to isolation, confinement, and cohabitation in order to be able to suggest solutions able to ease the astronauts pressure about them. This involves a core role of vegetation in the habitat, a reconfigurable structure, which lets the astronauts be in control of the space division, and the design of spaces which exploit a wide space without constraining the individual to continuous interactions with the rest of the crew.

Communication

We created the exhibition with the aim to help the audience visualise the space mission, with all the IGLUNA projects and characteristics, as well as to communicate the science and the decision-making process underlined. Moreover, we designed and produced a video clip, storytelling the mission and the most important features of our project.

Wrap-up

Through IGLUNA, I had the opportunity to challenge myself with a broad and deepened project within an extremely interdisciplinary network, which forced my teammate and I to pay particular attention to the scientific justification of every decision. The result was presented and appreciated by a variety of visitors, involving Apollo astronauts and ESA experts, which helped us evaluate and add further considerations to the work even after its end. The project was also requested to be showcased during Scientifica - Zurich Science Days, which took place from 30/08 to 1/09 2019.