Lunar Bricks Team

Lunar Bricks Team 

To sustain long term human presence on the moon, the problem of exposure to ionizing radiation must be addressed to protect astronauts’ long-term health. In order to remain cost effective and scalable, I.S.R.U( In Situ Resource Utilization) will be required to transform and manipulate significant quantities of lunar material.

 Yet, designs for long term habitats confront the problem that many of the contemporary manufacture and construction paradigms used on Earth today cannot translate directly onto the moon. This includes dependence on mortars, adhesives, structural connections and material regimes crucial to modern construction. 

Fortunately, as a civilization, we have millenia of applied research in unreinforced structural systems to create shelter against the elements. When deployed through modern methods, we believe these techniques comprise some of the most well developed at our disposal to create habitats on the moon. Symbolically, we believe it embodies both the peak of technological development while showcasing the humility of our tools; beginning anew toward becoming an interplanetary civilization.

 By drawing from the ancient masonry technique of corbelling, we propose Moon BRICSS (Moon Blocks using Regolith ISRU for Construction of a Sustainable Settlement) hexagonal shaped masonry units constituted from vitrified lunar regolith allowing permanent, reconfigurable radiation protection to be maintained, retooled, and expanded to accommodate a broad gamut of lunar village configurations.

To produce each mortar unit, the lunar regolith is first melted in a furnace and cast into a hollow hexagonal prism ”brick.” To drastically reduce the annealing times and energy required, each brick is filled with compacted regolith. The bricks are transported to a site along the Gerlache Crater in the South Pole, where a robotic arm mounted to a rover and a vertical elevating platform will assemble the bricks into corbeled arches, shielding inflatable habitats.  The back-weighting of the corbeling technique provides a stable structure without the need for supports, mortar, or other binders, allowing the bricks to be replaced and the structure maintained over time. 

The Design



Team Members

Lanie McKinney (Aero/Astro)

Juan Daniel Salazar (Architecture)

Palak Patel  (MechE)

Nikita Klimenko (Architecture)

Annika Thomas (MechE)

Daniel Massimino  (MechE)

Mission profile