Author Topic: Artemis Campus Aesthetics  (Read 1693 times)

Offline LMT

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Artemis Campus Aesthetics
« on: 05/03/2020 07:14 am »
Artemis Campus Aesthetics

Lunar and martian mission simulation facilities are often sited in deserts.  Bleak views convey some feeling of the targeted world.

When we imagine Artemis facilities, that imagery lingers.  Outside the lunar hab, all is desert.

The psychological effect of such views might become negative, Buzz Aldrin's "magnificent desolation" growing less magnificent with gritty familiarity.  However, there could be options.  Over time, one might simulate more terrestrial things within and around habs, to give some feeling of home.  If SpaceX Starships participate in Artemis, their 100+ ton payload capacity might give margin for such aesthetic development of the Artemis research "campus".

This campus will likely be sited at high elevation near the lunar South Pole, to gain access to the essentials of light and ice.  On this peak, the initial desert bleakness could be ameliorated year-by-year, as machineries, ISRU products, and small supplemental payloads work aesthetic improvements.


If that's an interesting possibility, we might try to sketch aesthetic improvements that can be integrated into necessary activities, or improvements that can be won with very little payload mass or difficulty.  Beyond this, improvements that work together to orchestrate a particular aesthetic motif could be especially helpful, even justified.

To start the thread with an example, I'll sketch three notional aesthetic improvements that could conceivably, if somewhat fancifully, work together in service of a motif:

1.  pathways

Campus grounds need leveling and dust mitigation, so terracing and sintering efforts are plausible.  Physically disconnected facility terraces could be linked by sintered, edged pathways, to bring them into the civic whole.

2.  camouflage

Boulders displaced by terracing might be camouflaged in some terrestrial pattern; e.g., a digital paint-sealant design of streambed lichens and moss.  Boulders are arranged on a pathway winding downslope around campus facilities, in the form of a dry streambed.  Thick tufts of artificial grasses complete the camouflage.

3.  flow

If lunar ice proves carbonaceous, the campus will manufacture methalox propellant.  The campus might also make ionic liquid, for use in immense liquid mirror telescopes.  Many ionic liquids are methylated, so a methalox plant might be extended to produce one, using only minor Starship cargo.

Ionic liquids do not evaporate in vacuum, and some do not freeze at South Pole temperatures.  Thus, excess ionic liquid production could be applied to outdoor aesthetics; e.g., to convert the dry streambed into a flowing stream, visible throughout the campus.  Also, the circulating flow could run across walls, to convey the burbling sound into each campus structure.



Open thread.
« Last Edit: 05/04/2020 02:08 am by LMT »


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