This is Momo, the futuristic self-assembling lunar habitat from MIT that the Artemis III astronauts will use

This is Momo, the futuristic self-assembling lunar habitat from MIT that the Artemis III astronauts will use
This is Momo, the futuristic self-assembling lunar habitat from MIT that the Artemis III astronauts will use

NASA continues its preparations to send humans, and the first woman, to the Moon again through its Artemis program, which at the beginning of this year had to be delayed until 2026 due to problems with private spacecraft. Some missions of which some details are already known, such as the suits that the crew will wear, which are designed by Axiom Space, a company of which the Spanish-born Michael López-Alegría is an astronaut. Now, MIT has presented Momo, a futuristic self-assembling lunar habitat that will be used in Artemis III.

Momo is an ambitious project that was born from the collaboration between the MIT Department of Architecture, AeroAstro and the MIT Media Lab. It is a revolutionary self-assembling lunar habitat with which they intend lay the foundation for a long-term settlement on the Moon. A system that has been designed to, firstly, maximize the efficiency of flat-packing habitats in the cargo space of SpaceX’s Starship HLS lander and, secondly, ensure modularity.

This innovative will support Artemis III, scheduled for late 2026 or early 2027; and which will be the first manned lunar landing of NASA missions, together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and other space agencies. “Our goal is to develop a deployable habitat that will support our astronauts on the Moon. This habitat It will be small, semi-permanent and essential for our explorers as they lay the foundation for future long-term lunar settlements,” the project website explains.

A customizable module

Momo represents the collective effort of MIT’s major departments and unites fields such as architecture, aerospace engineering and media technology. In fact, the team working on this project is made up of architect Mateo Fernández and the Xdd44 studio, Kevin Dunnell from the media laboratory and Adam Boldi and Katie Chun from AeroAstro. A multidisciplinary group that is “essential” to address the complexities of spatial habitability.

Focused on practicality and efficiency, this habitat will be equipped with “all the facilities necessary to ensure survivalincluding a bathroom, bed and space for recreation – everything necessary to maintain life and facilitate productivity on the lunar surface. productivity and ensure mission success.

This is Momo, MIT’s self-assembling lunar habitat

As for Momo’s design, each of these modules is meticulously constructed with an aluminum structure and a high-density polyethylene membrane. A combination that allows the structure to provide solid protection against the harsh lunar environment, such as radiation, and maintains the lightweight properties crucial for space travel. Additionally, they contain storage space and can be customized depending on their function.

And its modular design is one of its most notable features, since it allows each unit to be adapted to specific functions. For example, They can serve as airlocks, windows, photovoltaic panels, work tables or areas for physical exercise. A versatility that guarantees that this lunar habitat can satisfy different needs of astronauts, from scientific research to everyday activities.


This is how the Momo lunar habitat is installed

When designing this technology, the team has also thought about safety and longevity, which are essential in a space habitat. This way, Momo also includes replaceable modules. This means that if they are damaged, astronauts can replace them with new ones without having to modify the entire habitat. It has even been prioritized to have a self-assembling structure.

The module is manufactured on Earth and self-expands upon deployment to the Moon, minimizing the need for extensive astronaut intervention and ensures efficient and easy assembly. Momo has a dodecahedron shape that offers modularity and is compact, making it easy to fold and pack. It also simplifies its transportation.

Future lunar settlements

Momo is envisioned to play a crucial role in establishing human presence on the Moon, providing essential infrastructure for astronauts. The team responsible for the project has chosen the lunar south pole as a locationas it offers a strategic location to build the proposed long-term lunar settlements.

This is a region of great interest due to its potential water ice deposits and its favorable conditions for long-term habitability. Not only that, but this location will be essential for the construction of future more permanent lunar settlements. Ultimately, Momo aims to lay the foundations for permanent lunar settlements.

The Momo lunar habitat.

M.I.T.

Omicrono

As the project progresses, the team of designers has ensured that will add advanced technologies and will conduct rigorous testing to mitigate risks and ensure mission success. A project that is currently in an initial phase and in which its creators still have a lot of work ahead of them, although it is a promising idea to lay the foundations for a long-term lunar settlement.

 
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