On cold winter nights as one looks up the dark sky, there appears an “asterism” of 6 stars named the “Winter Hexagon”, it shines bright and appears prominently in the dark sky as a “beacon”, my structure for the proposed habitation on moon was inspired by this asterism’s beauty and by the structural qualities inherently possed by a hexagon. The idea is to ship “Hexa Frames” made of grade 1 to 3 Spruce Pine Fir timber 2x8s from earth with a “click-lock” mechanism to ease construction is space. The frames assemble into an 18-foot pod that acts as the “vessel” to hold different functions. The pods are clad in a carbon nano tube graphene material possibly derived from charred sawdust to deflect radiation and moon dust, while trapping as much heat in as possible.
These pods are then laid in a hexagonal pattern to create a “space porch” in between them that houses a geodesic dome made prom “snap assembled” grade 1 to 3 Spruce Pine Fir timber dowels and a translucent photovoltaic membrane to act as a greenhouse that produces food hydroponically and supplies oxygen to the inhabitants. This porch also acts as a space to interact and socialize with fellow moon residents while enjoying the view of lush green foliage.
The pods, though hexagon on the outside, consist of an inner shell shaped like a traditional gable roofed house to make the inhabitants feel at home with a protruding shelf like bump to hold knick-knacks that keep them connected to their roots. This shell is clad in Eastern White Pine to harness the biophilic properties of wood and bring the nostalgia of a wooden cabin from Earth. This inner shell also consists of faux windows with an LED panel inlay to project the person’s hometown from earth, so an astronaut from New England can still have a view of the bay, minus the snow! Wood, in the context of these pods acts as a cladding system on the outside a structural system in between and as a nostalgic finish on the inside, making it a truly versatile material fit for Earth as well as space.
Though humans have been to space before, no long-term habitation has ever occurred in those expanses thus creating a sense of mystique around the idea, however, the possible negative effects such as depression, anxiety, and homesickness have never been studied in detail. Wood is a material that has been used by man since times immemorable and hence it has the best chance of making us feel comforted and “at-home” while we are hundreds of thousands of miles away from mother earth, as wood itself is a gift from mother earth that enables us to performs marvelous feats!
Timber : Earth Ready // Space Ready // Ever-ready