LINA, an acronym for Lunar Infrastructure Asset, is a new cooperative mission between NASA and the AI Space Factory. Its purpose is fantastic, and it is based on the design and development of a 3D printed lunar outpost. The reason: protect astronauts on their return to the Moon, where the Artemis mission will set the standard.
As you may already know, much of NASA’s efforts are focused on returning humans to the lunar surface. LINA, meanwhile, is an attempt to expand our foundations as a civilization beyond Earth. In this way, we will not only be able to have a space where we can subsist on the Moon, but also one that is sustainable and minimizes human disturbance to the satellite.
This project is part of REACT, acronym in English for Additive Construction Technology in Relevant Environment. The mission of this collaboration is to develop technologies for construction on the lunar surface. Of course, all of these plans must be developed within the time frame of the Artemis mission. Likewise, LINA would have to build these bases using 3D printing technology on the lunar surface itself..
“A full-scale architectural and structural design will be completed based on lunar conditions and the needs of the Artemis mission. A scale structure will be 3D printed in simulated lunar environments.”
These are the bases of LINA, the NASA proposal that will give a home to human beings on the Moon
The design that has been given to LINA is focused on meeting human needs on the Moon. From the study of the lunar topography and a strategic implantation that will allow to obtain the resources of the Sun (but also of the permanent shadows of the satellite), to the ability to expand housing units. AI Space Factory and NASA have well studied the new project.
We know that LINA will be a system of tensile structures. This means that it can exist from a single unit, to a set of them. Likewise, will have a living area of up to 75 square meters. Another 90 square meters will be allocated to a central area, dedicated to the rest of the astronauts.
These structures have the mission of hosting the astronauts who are sent to the Moon during the next decade. Likewise, they will have to comply with a minimum lifetime of 50 years. Thus, it is expected to protect astronauts from solar particles, impacts, cryogenic conditions of the lunar night and from earthquakes on the satellite.
Variables taken into account by LINA when choosing the site
For its development, the South Pole of the Moon has been chosen as the ideal location. This area is known as “The Peak of Eternal Light”. The reason is that, there, the sun is practically omnipresent. Thus, ideal for solar power generation.
Also, the area has eternally shaded areas. These low-lying regions are believed to contain water and that, in addition, they could support collection operations of the same.
To carry out all these plans, the structures have a common patio. In the, we found a photovoltaic tree designed to capture and harvest solar energy on the surface of the satellite. In turn, the orientation of the LINA structures themselves provide shade, and take advantage of the lunar topography to protect buildings and astronauts from cosmic and solar radiation.
The reconquest of the Moon, getting closer
To carry out the constructions of LINA, a large machinery will be needed. Therefore, NASA is working to make this a reality. Currently, Thomas Lipscomb, a materials engineer at NASA, is working in a vacuum chamber, and trying to emulate lunar conditions to test 3D printing methods.
AI SpaceFactory, for its part, is an architecture and construction technology company. She was, in turn, the winner of the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, the contest carried out by NASA a couple of years ago.
Secondly, LINA is expected to 3D print using a mix of native lunar regolith, and earth-derived polymeric binder. However, in order to minimize the amount of exports from Earth, several types of configurations were studied that will reduce the amount of material used, without endangering the load capacity of the structures or the interior space necessary for human existence on Earth. Moon.