Life Beyond Earth: Venice Biennale lunar habitat


A detailed concept for a lunar habitat, created by one of the world’s leading architectural firms with ESA technical support, is currently on show at the Biennale in Venice. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, originator of many of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, worked with ESA on a semi-inflatable habitat design which could be part of a long-term vision for an international Moon settlement.

The resulting design is on show at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (@BiennaleChannel). While the theme of the overall exhibition is ‘How will we live together?’, the SOM installation is called ‘Life Beyond Earth’, peering beyond our post-COVID-19 planet to show how human life can be sustained in the hostile space environment.
The installation encompasses two large-scale, physical models and this film, bringing Biennale visitors on a journey from Earth to the Moon’s surface.

SOM designed a semi-inflatable shell structure to offer the highest possible volume to mass ratio. Once inflated on the lunar surface, it would reach approximately double its original internal volume.

A lot of work went into the four-storey habitat interior, in terms of lighting conditions, reconfigurable features, and a high floor to ceiling space, to allow crew members to take advantage of lunar one-sixth g using grabbing bars and other simple aids.

Its chosen site has been described as the most desirable real estate in the Solar System: the rim of Shackleton crater beside the lunar South Pole. Avoiding the crippling temperature extremes of the Moon’s two-week days and nights, this location offers near-continuous sunlight for solar power, an ongoing view of Earth and access to lunar water ice deposits in adjacent permanently-shadowed craters.

Credit: SOM

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  1. Sadly the "politically correctness " has gone to far, even at ESA ! You are the European Space Agency, paid by our taxes to work for Europe and represent Europe not to be ashamed to be European! That way we don't like neo liberals agenda installed in Brussels, on all institutions that wuppie utopia, from as , you only want the money the taxpayers to fulfill your dreams , your agenda , living like parasites, hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats at Brussels in all those agencies, every day appears new one ,more nepotism more corruption, I'm paying almost 45% taxes to support that BS !

  2. 1:37 The National Team lander, which currently is not selected as lunar lander, but the payload is totally not designed for Starship Cargo version.
    If Starship is relatively cheap, then ESA could make this Moon Village a reality.
    Buy SpaceX service, establish foothold on the moon, get more European citizens excited about space, more funding, then Europe can make its own Starship.

  3. So, ESA, are you planning to send pressurized rover with catching cargo capability to the Moon? The dust in vacuum of space is the biggest concern and 2 weeks of darkness.

  4. Our generation was born too early to explore the universe. I can't even imagine what humanity will become in space exploration in the next few thousand years.

  5. Its all nice and well done, but seems to forget something very very important: The Moon gets hit by about 2800 kg of meteor material per day. Construction there owe to be underground.

  6. Very beautiful and inspiring video but, as the newly appointed director general said, Europe is severely behind US and China when it comes to investments in space. If we want to be competitive we need to at least double ESA's budget. Till then, we'll always be in the backseat of these big programs like Artemis. We also need to take initiative

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