The firm SOM (SKidmore, Owings & Merrill) – in collaboration with the European Space Agency and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – will masterplan, design, and engineer Moon Village, a permanent human settlement on the lunar surface. Revolving around principles of resilience and self-sufficiency, it is to go up on the Shackleton Crater. The idea is to make the most of that zone’s natural resources, such as near-constant sunlight throughout the lunar year with which to obtain energy, conduct experiments, and produce food, as well as the frozen water in the permanently shaded depressions near the Moon’s South Pole, with which to produce breathable air, propel rockets for transport, and support industrial activity.
Rising three and four levels, the inflatable modules containing workspaces and living quarters will be pressurized and expandable as needed. These structures are protected with a cladding that uses regolith to withstand extreme temperatures, radiation, and pressure differences.