Structural design of a lunar habitat

F. Ruess, J. Schaenzlin, H. Benaroya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


A lunar base is an essential part of all the new space exploration programs because the Moon is the most logical first destination in space. Its hazardous environment will pose challenges for all engineering disciplines involved. A structural engineer's approach is outlined in this paper, discussing possible materials and structural concepts for second-generation construction on the Moon. Several different concepts are evaluated and the most reasonable is chosen for a detailed design. During the design process, different solutions-for example, for the connections-were found. Although lunar construction is difficult, the proposed design offers a relatively simple structural frame for erection. A habitat on the Moon can be built with a reasonable factor of safety and existing technology. Even so, we recognize the very significant difficulties that await our return to the Moon.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number002603QAS
Pages (from-to)133-157
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Moon
  • Space construction
  • Structural design


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