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Department of Engineering Outreach Competition for Cambridge Festival

Project Moonbase: Habitation

What do you need for life? Air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat. A source of energy for light, heat and communications, exercise to keep you fit. If humans are to live on the Moon they have to develop ways to meet these needs from the resources of the Moon itself and by recycling materials, gases and liquids perfectly.

Cartoon Moon image

Your task is to design a MoonBase for the Artemis Mission, NASA’s return to the Moon You should explain how your design would:

Recycle CO2 into breathable air
Recycle dirty water and sewage into drinking water and plant food
Feed the lunar settlers
Generate electricity to run the MoonBase, for heating, lighting, transport and communications
Contain gases and liquids so air and water are not lost to space
Exercise the settlers so they stay healthy in a low gravity environment

Or you could consider 1 of these needs and create a detailed design to solve the problem
Your design can be in the form of pictures, a model, an illustrated written report, a website or a video. The best entries will be collected into an online exhibition in summer 2021 and an in-person exhibition at the Department of Engineering on Saturday 25th September 2021, covid permitting.



Explore Physics: The Moon Adventure with the Institute of Physics
NASA has announced plans to go back to the Moon.
These websites explain their plans. What would you do the same? What would you do differently?
Project Artemis
Apollo Mission 50th Anniversary
This YouTube video shows how to make Blue Peter’s famous Tracy Island model. Could you adapt this method to make a model of your MoonBase? How would you keep the air in?
Film: Wall-e
UK rating = U
BBFC information
Wikipedia information
Does this film show perfect closed-loop recycling where all materials are reused?
Film: The Martian
For older makers (12+) UK rating = 12
BBFC Information
Wikipedia information
Soundtrack: The Race for Space by Public Service Broadcasting

Technical Details
How to enter
Email to register for the competition and receive updates on the mission. We won’t share your information with anyone else or use it for any other purpose and we will keep your email safe on a password-protected University server.
If you are under 13, ask your parent or guardian to register on your behalf.
Choose a nickname so you can find your work in the online exhibition and you can tell your friends where to look but you stay anonymous on our website.
All entries will be online. Email your entry to or email a link to a filesharing site for larger files. Give your email the subject “Moon Settlement Design”
What to enter
Send us your ideas as:
Either: 6 photos of a model, plus 100 words to describe them
Or: 2 sides of A4, scanned and filled with anything that fits – but remember, if we can’t read it, we can’t exhibit it
Or: A 3 minute video of a model or a presentation
Judging categories
Best thought out ideas
Best constructed model
Best video
Best 6 photos and 100 words
Best 2 sides of A4
Most practical suggestion
Judges choice
Popular choice
Age categories: Under 7 on 29-7-21, 7 to 11 on 29-7-21, over 11s

Elsewhere in Project Moonbase:
Project Moonbase: Data and Communications
Project Moonbase: Transportation

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