Collected Notes on the Moonbase Map


{This was supposed to be posted a few weeks back as a followup to posting the Moonbase map, but it got sidelined in the Drafts folder, so here it is now.}

Lunar topographic map

First of all, if you haven’t seen the new USGS maps of the Moon, they are lovely (and huge files):

There was good feedback and discussion about the Moonbase map from the Google+ groups. This is a summary and accumulation of those questions and answers.


The idea of making this into a setting or a game has been kicking around for a long time, and it’s not likely to go away. And the feedback from a few people about this being posted on G+ was positive and interested in seeing more about it.


Bryan Rombough asked, “Why are just the habitat modules covered by regolith? Are the benefits from the regolith covering (insulation?, radiation protection?, something else?) not needed for the other modules? Or would covering those modules somehow be a hindrance?

Some of the inspiration for this came from proposed concepts (both US and USSR) for moon bases. The principal reason for regolith cover seemed to be for radiation protection. It probably would provide some insulation benefit (principally sun shading), as well.

Presumably the base is there for activity on the lunar surface, so some surface access is needed. And the greenhouse obviously can’t be covered. But also, all that work is presumably time consuming and difficult, and EVAs are better spent on useful activities.

The modular nature of the base allows for future additions, which would be much more difficult with having to excavate and then re-bury modules in order to access them to add on.

Also, the habitat modules would likely need to be structurally reinforced in order to support being buried. Other modules could be lighter if that wasn’t required for them.

Habitats provide 50% coverage (figuring that sleeping and personal time being roughly half the day) so it’s a trade-off between exposure and utility.


A couple others joined in on discussing the medical module. The idea for this was that it would be principally a medical research and health maintenance space, rather than a treatment facility. It would not be a “sick bay” for recuperation and invalid patient care.  It would have laboratory and medical diagnostic gear.  It’s more of a medical research and health maintenance space, rather than a treatment facility.


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