What If for Outpost

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This Page is for the wild ideas we all have.


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Using the suit room as a "dirty lab"

for studying lunar regolith and rocks

The suit and equipment room is quite large and will presumably be well ventilated*. On the other hand, the living quarters and lab will be relatively congested, and we wouldn't want to bring lunar regolith into this clean living area due to its toxic nature (which we don't fully understand, and need to study). Therefore I suggest we designate one or more of the gear storage areas in the suit and equipment room as a lab bench, specifically for studying physical and chemical properties of the lunar regolith. Many of these studies will need to be conducted outside of the habitat, but for the few that will need to be conducted inside the habitat (exact studies yet to be determined by the OpenLuna Science team; suggestions welcome), this space would be ideal.

Fume Hood

NavigaiterFume hood techniques would isolate the regodust in a glass cabinet with intrusive gloves. It's actually like a tiny separate room for rego specimen. Good ventilation* of living spaces is luxury. Keeping the smaller airlock free of dust is easier and it must become a clean room after every use. No silicosis needed, thanks.

A couple possible floor plan options.

By: Len

An alternate floor plan. From Len
An alternate floor plan three view from Len.

Navigaiter I love Quonsets! There's a reason they were shipped all over the world for wartime spaces. That's why I wonder what is the rationale for the "inflatable" hab idea? Besides light weight, I mean.

Note that the airlock between rooms can and perhaps should be just an airtight door since it is a redundant airlock and ther'll never be vacuum on one side of it since it isn't an exit door.

- Well - It's possible to have a vacuum in the Dirty Lab, if they needed to have the lock completely open to get something big in it, (Like a stretcher or a bad piece of larger hardware for repair.) or shovelling a bunch of material in or out. Also, We really wanted a small room to be sealed for a last vacuum cleaning (dust removal) before entering the living quarters.


Size and weight. The Quonsets shape is being considered because of the strength to height ratio. Please look around and make more suggestions or help us detail this. We are wanting to move to a first stage analogue soon. Paul 01:09, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Lighter simpler and easier. Granted in spades. Yeah but... I'm starting to worry about the response of an inflatable structure to having tons of regolith dumped on it. ?? [3-meter cosmic shielding]

I kinda like the alternate idea of bolting two Quonset Huts bottom-to-bottom to make one cylinder. ?? Darn. I'm sorry. But. A buried hab will flex, won't it, when pressure variations and temperature fluctuations occur? Seems like this'll stress a fabric hab skin faster than an aluminum alloy Quonset. ?? Navigaiter

LunaLodge drawing for OpenLunaTRIAL.gif


Navigaiter Anyway -- to discuss my revisions. They are just beginnings, please discuss and revise them. The hab is inflatable. Much as I love Quonsets, they require a big heavy rigid floor because their internal pressure will try to blow the panel arches upward from the edges of the floor. This force also requires an unbendable floor and strong angle beams along the baseplate joining arches to floor. After the LunaCrete Factory is up and running and pouring slabs for Quonset huts, they will become the hab of choice. The hab endcaps are round for the same reason as the "floor" is round; joing a flat surface to a round surface creates a corner with huge bending force, ie, structural failure points which require strong angle beam reinforcement with a lot of joiner bolts. Can't afford the assembly time and can't risk the pressure leakage which WILL happen after the structure comes alive and flexes with pressure and temperature changes. And, of coarse, end caps are round because the hab has to be inflatable and you can't make a balloon with corners ;-] The hab has just one airlock. If the airlock doors fail, the crew must seek refuge in their Suits and/or in their Lander, mission will be compromised. Sorry. Airlocks are too big and heavy to afford redundancy. LunaDust is highly abrasive and hates hinges, these things MUST be perfectly sealed or the airlocks are soon doomed. So, the one airlock must be large enough for the five[?] crew to pile when the hab looses pressure. Being buried under tons of regolith is scary.

If there's anything almost as good as exploring Luna, it's talking about it. [:-) Speak up. [Allen Meece]

snyder] I'm not quite convinced. Airlocks can be built for different uses. An emergency airlock can have a pretty simple door mechanism and austere furnishings. Think about how a dry bag seals against water. (multiple folds and finally a clip to hold it shut) I don't think this is the design you want for daily use, but occasional would be fine. Also the bigger an airlock is, then the more gasses you will need to pump out for depressurisation. Since you never get it all, you will also lose more when you finally open the door. (look at the Space shuttle's N2 use for EVAs)

Len] One airlock presents a set of problems, first and foremost is saftey. One way in and one way out could be very problematic. Second is dust mitigation, with the dust as fine and as abrasive as I have been led to believe, one set of filters and one vacuum draw down does not seem to be enough to minimize the appearance of dust in the living/work areas. One airlock also does not provide for easy expansion. The 3 airlock design would include a drawn down system for each with a centralized piping system that would allow each pump to be ganged with the others. This of course would provide redundancy and improve the draw down wait time by using all three pumps at once.

Hi Len, nice to meet you here in the hab shop!


One door is simpler than three and simpler is automatically safer. Less to ship, assemble and maintain, less to go wrong. If the hab loses pressure, the one airlock must be big enough to hold all five crew. That airlock has to be robust with dust-proof hinges and latches like on a submarine. Consider the submarine. They don't have extra doors because they don't allow bad doors since that could kill everyone on board. Doors can be made perfectly. The technology is perfected. Certain parts of any space project are Level One Importance, things which cannot be permitted to be chancey, things like wings on the shuttle, or its windshield, or its solid rockets, say. A single door on the hab would have to be the same priority. If the door fails, like the shuttle solids failed, people may die. Perfection isn't perfect and we have to live with that. [pun]

Dust Control.

I don't think it can be banished by machinery, it requires strict clean discipline. In fact, reliance on machinery can induce laziness. The good news is the hab is inside a perfect vacuum cleaner. Prior to entering the airlock, perhaps there is a blow-off station outside the door where the dirtiest items are blown, maybe like an automatic car wash with air instead of water, which moonmen stand inside and turn around slowly many times. The airlock, which I propose to be a cleanroom, must be totally smooth inside, like a Teflon coating so dust can't grab hold. With the door open, the crew uses a hose to blow everything then removes the suit, hangs it up and blows it some more puts it away and steps inside the hab in stocking feet, like a Japanese tea house. These aren't perfect techniques, just a starting point for the cleanliness policy.Navigaiter

Len: From what I am told, the dust is finer than talc. Have you ever tried to blow talc off of fabric? No matter how hard you blow you will have a fine layer on the fabric of the suit when you enter the airlock. Perhaps both systems should be implemented. Not knowing the effect that regolith dust will have on the human body, I wouldn't want to say that filtering the living quarters would be a luxury.

Dust, Electric Talcum Powder

One big problem with RegoDust :-] is that it seems to have some sort of ionic charge that sticks it to MoonSuits like magnetism. To be candid, it won't all just blow off with a pressure air stream as I've proposed. So the clean room interlock I've proposed needs to have a wonderful, to-be-invented, de-ionizer blaster or something like that [8:0>

De-Duster Gazebo

Seems good idea to remove most dust before going inside the front door! So I propose a permanent de-dusting station incorporated to all LunaHab plans. It has to be next to the front door with a catwalk grating leading to the front door.

Standard Module Construction

A proposal for the use of std construction modules Len.

Len: Using standard construction modules would cut down on design and manufacturing costs and provide the flexibility to rearrange the Outpost layout according to the terrain.

Navigaiter: This is brilliant. All doors and door frames are standardized for the same reason.

Len: The more we can standardize (and off the shelf rocks) the lower the mission costs will be.

Force loads

snyder] I think all Habs are 'inflatable' in a sense. Even an ISS module expands a little when pressurized. Think about using spheres and cylinders because of hoop stress. Internal fittings can make flat floors much easier than making a flat pressure vessile. The loads are really large. consider between 3 and 15 pounds of force for EVERY square inch. As for the loading of soil from above, lets see .... call regolith density say 0.20 lbs / cubic inch (I dunno, steel is about 0.35), and lunar gravity is 1/6 gee. so 5 feet of regolith on top of a hab weighs about 1 lb. not much compared with the internal pressure pushing out.

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