From the Earth to the Moon, To Live in a Balloon

Moonbase 2 by Architecture and Vision

[image via io9]

In honor of today’s debut of the incredibly-named Virgin Galactic White Knight Two and last week’s revelation of the existence of extraterrestrial life from Apollo 14 astronaut and holder of the record for longest continuous moon walk, Edgar Mitchell, let’s look at a new design proposal for a long-term moon base research station. Architecture and Vision’s MoonBase 2 is an igloo-like inflatable structure designed to be transported on the Ares V rocket, a heavy-launch vehicle that will accompany Ares I, a crew vehicle, on NASA’s next planned moon trip in 2019. Like an igloo, the dome shape provides maximum exposure to the sun for warmth (and perhaps energy?) and can accomodate a research crew of four people for up to six months. Potentially, MoonBase 2 could be redubbed MarsBase 1 and used as a temporary planetary settlement — perhaps while astronauts fashion bricks from Martian soil for something a bit more permanent.
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