Space Architecture: Designing a Lunar Habitation System



In this new online course you will learn about the development strategies and design challenges of locating and building lunar habitats. Space Architects will present material on how the transportation system, site selection, and environmental factors influence the shape, size, and growth of lunar bases.

The emphasis will be on designing for human occupation of our closest neighbor. There will be a discussion of different approaches to site improvement, proximity to landing zones, solar and nuclear electrical power options, and radiation protection. Furthermore, the architectural accommodations for EVA and rovers will be presented.

This course will offer methods of integrating, maintaining, and upgrading habitat subsystems. Each of the subsystems will be described with particular focus on the Environmental Control Life Support system, Crew Systems, and Health Maintenance systems. In addition, studies and design concepts for accommodating human factors in lunar gravity will be presented. In order to sustain habitat operations, the approaches for logistic resupply and crew rotation will be discussed.

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of relevant aspects for a lunar habitation system.
  • Discover space architecture design strategies that integrate transdisciplinary aerospace methodologies.
  • Translate space architecture fundamental design drivers into system engineering practices.
  • [See Detailed Outline Below]

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: This course is for decision makers, program managers, chief engineers and architects working on lunar missions involving humans or are interested in the field.

Course Information:
Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course
Course Level: Fundamentals/Intermediate
Course Length: 1-2 days
AIAA CEU's available: Yes


Lecture 1: Design Challenges and Consequences 

Part 1: Introduction to design-relevant environmental characteristics and showing possible consequences for design (Gravity, Light Conditions, Location Characteristics, Radiation – different kinds of hazards …)

· Physical characteristics influencing human presence and mobility

· Earth-Moon transportation connection

· Outpost location strategy

· Growth paths

· Logistics

· External operations

Part 2: Examples:

· Pre Apollo concepts

· Post Apollo concepts

· Artemis plan

Lecture 2: A Historical Look at Human Lunar Surface Mission Studies

Part 1: Introduction to the various studies done by NASA, particularly post Apollo. It will describe the engineering and operational approaches resulting from the study results, and their influence on current NASA plans within the Artemis Program.

·Purpose/Driver of Studies

·Destination of Studies

·Earth-Moon Transportation Approaches

·Surface Mobility Strategies

·Habitation Strategies

·Recommendations of Studies

Part 2: Examples:

·Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) (NASA) 1989 - 1993

·Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) (NASA) 2005

·Lunar Architecture Team (LAT) (NASA) 2004

·Constellation Architecture Team (CAT) (NASA) 2008

Lecture 3: Integrating Habitability – Humans and Environment Interaction

Part 1: Introduction to habitability principles and discussion of major habitability issues in extreme environments.

·The Habitation System: Human – Environment – Machine

·Human Factors and Requirements

·Humans and Environment Interaction (Gravity, Layout, Lighting)

·Relevant psychological and socio-spatial phenomena

·Architectural Countermeasures

·Key Issues for Habitability Design Integration

Part 2: Examples and Lessons Learned from space and analogue missions

Lecture 4: Design Integration – Habitation and Life Systems Integration 

Part 1: Overview systems and subsystems, design approaches, Introduction of relations (life-support, mobility, In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), habitation, …),

Part 2: Examples - human-centered design approach for LSS, how to integrate the subsystems into one system, Environmental (Gravity, Lighting, Safety, etc.)

Lecture 4: Habitation - Design Concepts and Design Reality 

Part 1: Introduction to space mission architecture: requirements, logistics and transportation constraints in relation to types of the missions.

· Form giving factors: environment, crew, mission goals and objectives

· Construction and structures: prefabricated modules; deployable modules; ISRU-based construction

· Design challenges: resources, logistics, habitability

· Surface habitats design specifics: adaptation and adjustment strategies

· Sustainable design approach: utilization of resources and designing for the future mentality

Part 2: Examples:

· Habitat and/or Settlement - sizing and volume optimization in connection to module types, spatial organization and potential for future expansion

· Lunar Surface Habitability – design influences on habitat design of types of mobility systems, EVA operation needs, and systems/modules interfaces.


Mr. Brand Griffin is the Program Manager for a Single-Person Spacecraft at Genesis Engineering Solutions. Before joining Genesis, he supported NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office at the Marshall Spaceflight Center where he participated in the analysis and design of lunar bases and deep space habitats. Formerly, he worked with Boeing as the lead configurator for Space Station Freedom and Habitation Module Manager. Among his innovative designs are an open-cockpit lunar hopper, wheeled-landing pressurized rover, a horizontal lunar lander, and the Skylab II deep space habitat. His next generation space suit was on display for 10 years at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Mr. Griffin has authored over 35 technical publications and numerous articles in books and periodicals. He was co-chair of the System Architecture and Mission Design Department at International Space University and was on the faculties of Tulane University, Rice University, and the University of Washington.

Dr. Sandra Häuplik-Meusburger is a Senior Lecturer at the TU Wien, Institute for Design and Building Construction. She is an accredited researcher in the field of Habitats in Isolated Confined Environments (ICE) and has worked and collaborated on several aerospace design projects. She is author of the book Architecture for Astronauts – An Activity-based Approach and Space Architecture Education for Engineers and Architects(with co-author Olga Bannova)by Springer Her new book Space Habitats and Habitability (with co-author Sheryl Bishop) summarizes relevant socio-spatial aspects for future space habitation. She is a corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the current vice chair of the AIAA Space Architecture Technical Committee (SATC).

Dr. Olga Bannova is a Research Professor, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston. She is also the current chair of the AIAA Space Architecture Technical Committee (SATC) and Director, Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and its Master of Science in Space Architecture program educating students for 15 years. She is the author of the book Human habitats beyond the planet Earth, led the IAA position paper The role of space architecture ,and co-author with Sandra of the Space Architecture Education for Engineers and Architects, where they explain space architecture design strategy and major aspects of planning and designing to enable human space exploration. She is a corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and a secretary of the ASCE Aerospace Division Executive Committee. Research studies and grants include: DSG Habitability, Lunar Base, Deployable Airlock Studies, and lunar surface architectures (Boeing), 2 NASA’s Minimum Functionality Habitation Element studies (Boeing and ILC Dover), SpaceHab’s Lunar Exploration System, Commercial Launch Facility in West Texas (TAC), Houston Spaceport (HAS).

Mr. Larry Toups has a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and a Master’s Degree in Space Architecture from the University of Houston, Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA). In 1988 he joined Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Company at Johnson Space Center. In this role, he provided technical support for JSC’s New Initiatives Office in Systems Engineering of habitats and planetary systems needed for the exploration of the moon. He contributed to numerous NASA studies including the 90 Day Study on Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars, First Lunar Outpost, and Access to Space. Joining NASA in February 1994 he became part of the International Space Station (ISS) Program Office at Johnson Space Center. He assumed the role of Habitability Systems Lead in the ISS Vehicle Office. and was responsible for human factors requirements, and hardware items such as Crew Quarters, Galley and Food Systems for the ISS.

Mr. Kriss Kennedy is a licensed Texas architect since 1995. After 30 years at NASA-JSC, Mr. Kennedy retired as a Space Architect, December 2017. He is a recognized exploration habitat expert when he was at NASA and within the international aerospace community. Prior to designing space systems at NASA, Mr. Kennedy worked with numerous architectural firms around the United States. Currently, Mr. Kennedy is founder of TECHNE‘ Architects, LLC (architecture firm) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Space Architecture at the University of Houston-Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. Mr. Kennedy has worked on over 45 NASA design projects and published over 60 papers in the field of aerospace human spacecraft design.  Mr. Kennedy has numerous Technology Brief awards and two NASA patents, one of which is the “TransHab” (Inflatable Spacecraft) won the 2017 NASA Invention of the Year.
Jackelynne Silva-Martinez - Space Architecture Course
Jackelynne Silva-Martinez works at NASA Johnson Space Center in the Human Health & Performance Directorate serving as Systems Engineering & Integration Lead, and as Human Systems Integration Lead for the Gateway Program. She previously worked within the Flight Operations Directorate for the International Space Station and Artemis Programs as Flight Controller and Systems Engineer executing mission planning and integration. She worked as a Mechanical Engineer and Test Operator at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Robotic Manipulators and Deployable Booms group performing verification and validation ground tests for the Mars Science Laboratory mission. Prior to that, Jackelynne worked for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company as Antennas Mechanical Design Engineer and then Systems Integration and Test Engineer for commercial and government satellite programs, primarily GPS III. Jackelynne participated in several space analog missions including Human Exploration Research Analog at Johnson Space Center and Mars Desert Research Analog in Utah. Jackelynne has a Bachelor's in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Master's in Aeronautical Science with concentration in Human Factors for Aviation/Aerospace Systems, Master’s in Aerospace Engineering with concentration in Space Systems Integration, and certificates in Six Sigma, Engineering Management, and Space Studies. 



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