L U N A R K

// A Journey to the Moon //

In 2024 humans will land on the Moon again

We are building the next lunar home

Testing it for 3 months in the toughest climate on Earth

Photo of Sebastian and Karl

During the next year, two young Danish Space Architects, Sebastian and Karl-Johan, will face this question as they design, build, and live for three months in the very first Moon Analogue habitat in the Arctic, Greenland.

Isolated and confined in one of the harshest climates on Earth, they will endure -30 degrees Celsius, hurricane winds, and hungry polar bears.

In the past year, they’ve established SAGA Space Architects and won several awards for their work. Now they will do their most ambitious project yet.

SEE THE TEAM

Partners

Why are we going?

The Moon

Soon humans will face the Moon again. This time not to place a flag, but to live. If humans are to settle on the Moon and other planets, we must be very careful with how we design the homes for these pioneers. In space, your habitat is your entire world. There is no nature, change of scenery, or newness.

It’s just you and your pod.

If the designs continue to be sterile survival machines, the astronauts who have to live there for months at a time will whither from the lack of nature and sensory stimulation.

Previous research shows that lack of stimuli, isolation, and confinement will become major challenges for the long-term voyages of the future.

This experiment will develop and test a radically different Moon habitat where architecture helps to counteract monotony, claustrophobia and psychological stress.

We want to understand with our own bodies, what is truly important when living in isolation under these extreme conditions.

As architects we feel a certain responsibility for the lives of these future settlers, so we take it upon ourselves to fully immerse in the problem.

Real Stress

Current analogue missions carried out by the space industry often have a major limitation: they do not involve real danger. The climate is pleasant, help is just around the corner and the missions are short.

Psychological studies are limited by strict ethical guidelines. They cannot expose participants to greater danger or mental stress than they experience in their daily lives. This makes the studies too comfortable.

The Moon is more hostile than any place on Earth. It’s a perfect vacuum, there’s cosmic radiation, no natural resources, and extreme temperature fluctuations. So in order to properly understand how living on the Moon affects the body and mind, we need to feel the struggle to survive in the extreme reality north of the arctic circle.

Why Greenland

It’s important for the project to take place in an environment that looks and behaves like the Moon's surface. Northern Greenland has some unique features that make it an ideal Lunar test-bed. We are looking at locations near Station Nord or Thule Air Base.

Similarities

In an extreme climate so far away from civilization, similarities to the Moon begin to reveal themselves. The landscape is bare and lifeless, the sun does not follow a normal circadian rhythm, and instead of a space suit, one has to wear a polar suit to survive the cold.

  • The Peak of Eternal Light. The planned destination for the first Moon settlements is the South Pole of the Moon, also known as the Peak of Eternal Light. Like in Northern Greenland, the Sun doesn’t set for months at a time.
  • The vast white landscape. In Greenland, we will face the same monochrome featureless landscape as on the Moon.
  • Extreme temperatures. With temperatures reaching below -30°C during the mission, there is no room for error and one must suit-up to survive.
  • Remoteness. In Greenland, one does not have to pretend to be disconnected. Transport and communications are nearly as limited as on the Moon.

Inspiration

In the late 19th century, Greenland was the destination for many exploration- and scientific expeditions led by Knud Rasmussen. In an age of exploration, Greenland was a frontier to be discovered.

Now those days have passed and we are looking further - to the Moon - as the next scientific destination. The next place to be understood and explored.

We hope our expedition can be the first of many and give Greenland a new ambitious purpose as a test-bed for Lunar Space Technology.

"The adventure awaits the one who knows how to seize it."

- Knud Rasmussen

Danish Arctic Explorer

Knud standing in front of tent in the arctic with a crew

Well-being

Well-being and indoor climate playes a crucial role in our habitat architecture. Read more about our thoughts on well-being and climate impact of the project.

READ MORE

The Challenges

greenland map
greenland map

-50° Celsius


Unfolding habitat


Polar Bears


Cabin fever


Frostbite


Muscle atrophy


Total isolation and autonomy

The Habitat

We will put our most innovative designs to the test, to demonstrate how space architecture could look, and accelerate the architecture and technology of future Moon habitats

READ MORE
Habitat

The Habitat

We will put our most innovative designs to the test, to demonstrate how space architecture could look, and accelerate the architecture and technology of future Moon habitats

READ MORE