Human exploration requires hubs to expand its reach. Whether it’s an oasis along the Silk Road or a port city along a river, these locations refuel and repair machinery while providing much needed rest for travelers. MoonPort continues this tradition in space, extending humanity’s reach from low Earth to lunar orbit and all the space in between. Not only will MoonPort provide the services needed for augmenting current missions, it also provides a proving ground for pursuing future goals as humanity explores its solar system.
It’s been designed to house a population of permanent staff as well as a transient population of explorers, scientists, engineers, tourists, and adventurers. Designed to accommodate a maximum population of fifty people, it contains all the necessary hardware to sustain itself and supply the space crafts that visits.
The structure is half buried in the Lunar regolith to provide protection from radiation and thermal insulation. The life support systems cycle through the entire facility, and there is a layer of water between outer space and the habitat areas to block cosmic and solar radiation. The near constant sunlight it receives from its geography is angled into the inner courtyard where magnificent gardens are grown for oxygen, food, and relaxation. The skylight system can re-direct the sunlight from its shallow angle, making the sunshine from above. This mimics Earth on purpose to provide a familiar place for long duration crews to relax and ready for their next missions.
Located on the Lunar south pole, this location is able to accept craft to and from Earth as well as those on deep space missions. It takes full advantage of the low Moon gravity well, providing Earth comforts for a fraction of the launch costs. Space craft take off and land from the protruding landing pads, and are then taxied inside on moving platforms. Once passed an airlock, the crew can disembark without the need for spacesuits or complicated docking maneuvers. This ensures MoonPort can accept any craft that can fit within their airlock system, regardless of configuration.
The power and life support systems are over-sized, allowing them to service the craft that arrive and keep the port running. A combination of solar thermal and nuclear power provide the necessary energy, while biosystems, natural and industrial, clean the air and water. Machining, additive manufacturing, hydrogen fuel production, and general maintenance can all be performed in the maintenance bays on docked craft. The MoonPort has been designed to keep spaceships running so once a craft is launched from Earth, it doesn’t have to return.
MoonPort a foothold on the moon that we will use to reach every corner of our solar system. Humans are explorers, and this design is meant to reinforce that trait by providing a safe and comfortable base camp for exciting and risky missions. Using this as a starting point, we will be able to reach farther and achieve more than we could ever dream