Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon and it was in 1969, since then, NASA sent five more Apollo missions to land astronauts on the surface of the Moon. However, the program was discontinued in 1972. Humans haven’t returned to the Moon after that, why? Well, because the cost of getting astronauts there was hugely expensive.
In 2017, US President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1 that directed NASA to return to the Moon with a crewed mission for long term exploration. Planned for 2024, Artemis III would be the first human lunar landing in over 50 years. LUNARK has been designed as a deployable Moon habitat, tested in a 3-month analog mission, 1000km North of the Polar circle.
Designed as a deployable structure, LUNARK would save space during transport, it optimizes space for the astronauts. LUNARK has a closed origami shell, it is comprised of rigid carbon fiber panels where algorithmically optimized to reach expansion of 750%. It’s a habitat for the Moon where astronauts have to deal with extreme environment.
Inspired by a budding leaf as it unfolds, SAGA Space Architects created an origami-like habitat that unfolds from a tight bud into a large ovoid shape. The exterior is truly tough as tank while the interior is cozy and safe. The structure is sandwich panels that come with a foam core for extra insulation, these panels are connected by a white foldable composite rubber. The main load bearing structure is an aluminum frame.
The interior is completed with custom-made Circadian Light Panels that helps create pseudo-natural day light, as the astronauts have to thrive not just survive, these light panels become one of essential psychological and physical well-being supports needed by these astronauts.