INTERNATIONAL LUNAR EXPLORATION PAGE
- with low-cost lunar transport, where would international astronauts go? -


SETTING LUNAR HABITATS
In addition to the South Pole UniHab and International Lunar Exploration Habitat, additional habitats would expand the bases at each pole but also habitats away from the poles could be set up for mining and tourism purposes. Mostly inflatable for quick set-up of high-quality structures.

North Pole UniHab: The South Pole UniHab would already have been set up prior to the International Lunar Exploration Phase. Yet, the North Pole also has Peaks of Persistent Illumination as well as permanently-shadowed craters with icy floors. So, the lunar north pole will be another very valuable location for a growing base. International astronauts could early establish this base and from there, support the exploration of the northern hemisphere.
Utility Habs: Maybe not so glamorous, but entirely essential. Utility habs could include things like life-support, sanitation, a larger centrifuge, farms, chemical processing facilities, a machine shop, etc. These would be dedicated habitats each of which would mean that much less would need to be shipped from Earth thereby allowing more of the payload to be crew thereby increasing growth rate of the base.
Transportation Habs: Think of space ports. Passengers would need to land somewhere. So, they would land on a landing pad (to prevent dust being blown everywhere), a transfer rover would dock with the lander and the passengers would transfer into the vehicle. That vehicle would drive to one of these transportation habs where the vehicle would dock with the hab and the passengers would exit into the hab where they would be formally welcomed including any ceremony that the base might think should be standard -- sort of like welcome at Hawaii.
Residential Habs: The amount of bedrooms at the base would need to be kept ahead of the population growth in a planned manner. Initially there might be compact male and female dorms favoring single crew. But quickly there would need to be married crew housing with separate rooms and facilities. Later, as private individuals arrive, residential habs might be uniquely, beautifully designed habs according to what the resident could afford.
Recreation Habs: Perhaps the most newsworthy habitats would be the recreation habs. Sports hab allowing for unbelievable gymnastics and such would be fascinating. With 20 metric tonne payload deliveries and delivering just the outermost inflatable layer first followed by deliveries of the inner layers could result in a sports habitat with a footprint of about 3.4 acres. See the sort of things that could be done in that setting.
Community Habs: Community habs could include things such as dining rooms, meeting halls, places of worship, etc.
Medical Habs: Medical facilities of the appropriate capabilities would need to grow according to the medical needs of the residents. Initially just a designated place of the initial UniHab would suffice. But during the International Lunar Exploration Phase, a dedicated emergency habitat should be available to treat things such as serious injuries, dental extractions, or even operations such as a ruptured appendectomy. Eventually as older retirees arrive, full hospital habitats would need to be set up to give the full spectrum of care. Click here for a further discussion of this area.

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