Igloos on The Moon: Indian Space Agency is Working on ‘igloos’ for Future Outposts on Earth’s Natural Satellite

[Image: Pixabay]

ISRO may build some Igloo-like structures on the surface of the Moon in coming years. The agency is currently working on a plan to create such ‘lunar habitats’ using advanced 3D printers and robots that ISRO hopes to send to the Moon in near future. According to ISRO, these robots and 3D printers will make use of the soil and other materials available on the Moon to build Igloos.

ISRO says is scientists have got some success in creating a model of a future lunar habitat, according to Times of India. This igloo was developed using a 3D printer in the lunar terrain test facility in India. Scientists have created five designs of the lunar habitat, and the agency is likely to select one final design in coming months. The goal is have the technology ready when the government gives a green signal to the mission. Moreover, ISRO is trying to develop smart materials for these lunar habitats to ensure safety of the astronauts who will stay in these structures.

Mr. M Annadurai, ISRO Satellite Centre (Isac) director, told TOI that ISRO want to use the Moon as an outpost, like missions in Antarctica. According to him, it is likely that the international space station (ISS) project is scrapped in coming years and therefore many countries have started thinking about building permanent structures of the Moon.

“We are planning to use the Moon as an outpost – like missions in Antarctica. In the long run, the space station is likely to be scrapped. Many countries, including the US, are considering building more permanent structures on the Moon and working out of there. When that happens, we want India to have contributed,” he told TOI.

Annadurai also revealed that ISRO has mastered the art of making lunar simulant (material that approximate the properties of lunar soil). ISRO has already made approximately 60 tonnes of this material, whose properties are nearly 99.6% similar to that of the samples brought from Moon by Apollo missions.

Last year in February, ISRO created history by launching record 104 satellites in a single mission through its workhorse launcher Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) rocket. PSLV-C37 lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and carried with it 104 satellites, including the 714-kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite. Of the 104 satellites, only three were Indian satellites (#Cartosat-2D, INS-IA and INS-1B nanosatellites) and remaining 101 were foreign ones (88 Dove cubesets from Earth-imaging firm Planet and 13 nanosatellites from nations like Israel, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.  This successful completion of the mission made the Indian space agency first in the world to launch record number satellites. ISRO beat previous record of 37 satellites created by Russia in June 2014.