Space Architecture for MoonVillage



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46th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The Director General of ESA, Jan Wörner, has introduced an idea into the international conversation about destinations and purposes for human space flight called “MoonVillage.” Simply put, this is a concept in which multiple nations and companies would bring their systems and perform their self-determined operations at one location on the Moon, so that they all could benefit from the synergy of collocation, shared services, and economies of scale. Wörner is quick to note that this is one suggestion for how to move humanity forward in lunar activities, that its primary purpose as a meme is to be a conceptual catalyst for conversation, concept formulation, and strategy making, and that it would be a measure of progress were the meme to be supplanted by a “better” one.

But taken prima facie, what are the implications of the MoonVillage concept for space architecture – site planning, systems, operations, outfitting, technical support, and the other manifold considerations of space architecture?

The paper explores how implementation and growth of MoonVillage space architecture might fit into the known framework of lunar surface conditions, the evolving framework of national and commercial interests for lunar activities, and current knowledge and fundamental questions about lunar science and resources. Issues of scale and technology type as a function of population size, activities, and location on the surface are particularly revealing of principles for how a MoonVillage could work and be built, and of the enabling capabilities for this to happen.


United States
Caltech JPL
ICES502: Space Architecture
Vienna, Austria
Brent Sherwood, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA
The 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Vienna, Austria, USA on 10 July 2016 through 14 July 2016.


space architecture, MoonVillage, Moon, base, human space flight, planetary exploration, commercial development, international