Moonbase Modules (Terra Futura)

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The Modules of a Moonbase were designed to house people on the Moon. They were needed to provide a place to live.

(Note: The background section of this page uses most of the same words from Terra Futura's page on moonbases to save time.)


The first spacecraft to reach the Moon were the Soviet Luna probes. Luna 1 went past the Moon. Luna 2 landed on the Moon. Luna 3 orbited the Moon. The United States of America was determined to put a man on the Moon. In 1968, Apollo 8 orbited the Moon, and the astronauts took a picture of Earth from space. In 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first two astronauts to walk on the Moon. Their mission was named Apollo 11, and the astronauts brought back moon rocks. They were soon followed by 10 more astronauts in Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Apollo 13 never made it to the Moon because the service module had a problem with the thermostat which caused an oxygen tank to explode. After Apollo 17, no man ever set foot on the Moon again until the late 2010s. The first few missions were similar to the Apollo missions. Not long after, the first moonbases were constructed.

To build a moonbase, first, the space program had to choose a site. Most moonbases were built in wide, level areas near ice. Then, unmanned vehicles would come and start construction. They brought construction materials, tools, vehicles, batteries, etc. The astronauts would then follow. Designers used the International Space Station as a model for individual systems. The primary surface module was the most important module. It was built on Earth and shipped to the Moon. It could be like the ISS. Or it could be inflatable. The astronauts could also use modular construction on the Moon. Also important was the power source. They could use solar or nuclear power. Last of all, a storm shelter was needed to protect from cosmic rays. The astronauts could dig one under the surface of the Moon. Or they could build a surface bunker cover in moon rocks. After that, auxiliary structures were built.


There were many kinds of modules used in moonbases.

Basic Habitat Modules

Tech Level: 10

All moonbases required a basic habitat module for the crew. They had self-contained life support systems and recycling systems. These had many redundancies. Also, there were communication uplinks, workstations, sanitary facilities, etc. This was the first moonbase module used. It was the backbone of the moonbase. Early habitat modules could only hold three to eight people due to the cramped conditions. Later modules could carry more people. As moonbases expanded, specialized modules became important. And they needed to be connected by inter-module connector tunnels.

Inter-Module Connector Tunnels

Tech Level: 10

These tunnels were tube-like airlocks that could connect modules of a moonbase. As moonbases got bigger and specialized modules began appearing on moonbases, these tunnels were used to connect them. There were many different configurations, but the most common was the four-way connector. They also carried power, data, life support, and communication between modules. This was especially important for the laboratory module.

Laboratory Modules

Tech Level: 10

The first specialized modules were laboratory modules that were used to conduct science experiments on the Moon. The first laboratory modules were for geology, chemistry, and life sciences. This helped analyze the chemical composition of moon rocks. Later modules were used for astronomy and industrial applications. As a result, mining operations could begin and more extrasolar planets were discovered. But is the laboratory modules were damaged, they would need maintenance. That was a where a maintenance modules came in.

Maintenance Modules

Tech Level: 10

Maintenance modules centralized the power, recycling, and life support systems of the moon base. They supplemented and eventually replaced the power, recycling, and life support systems of other modules. This allowed for much easier upgrading and maintenance at moonbases. It carried the relevant machinery inside for easy acces without an EVA. Also in there were back-ups in case of power failure. But just as power, recycling, and life support systems were centralized, so was command and communications.

Command and Control Modules

Tech Level: 10

Also known as logistics modules, these command and control modules came into existence when moonbases got bigger. Centralized general operations became necessary.  So these modules were incorporated into the moonbases.They housed the main communications systems and processing systems. They also acted as the centralized office of the base. Of course a module was needed to store supplies.

Storage Modules

Tech Level: 10

The storage module was basically a pressurized storage shed. It allowed personnel to easily access long-term supplies without an EVA. Storage modules provided supplies to other modules in the moonbase. But as moonbases got bigger, modules changed.

Inflatable Modules

Tech Level: 10

Inflatable modules had previously been used on space stations. Not long after, they started being used on moonbases. The shell was a foot thick and contained twenty layers of foam, nextel, kevlar, nomex, etc. This surrounded a core of collapsible interior walls and other hard-shell machinery. This allowed modules to have greater internal volume and become more specialized. In fact, as moonbases got bigger and the number of personnel increased, more specialized modules were needed.

Medical Modules

Tech Level: 10

Of utmost importance was medical care. Medical modules were incorporated into moonbases to provide ongoing care. They also took care of medical emergencies. For example, doctors at Moonbase One had to take care of an epidemic of H1N1 flu in 2029. Luckily, a medical module is capable of long-term observation of an epidemic. The epidemic was ended as a result. But larger crews needed more than medical care. They needed a morale booster.

Greenhouse Modules

Tech Level: 10

Greenhouse modules were used to grow and cultivate hydroponic plants as well as to supplement air and water recycling. Due to the radiation hazard, greenhouse modules were not transparent, so they used specialized interior lighting for plant growth. This also provided a morale booster for crews in the moonbases. But moonbases also needed to handle a new job which was mining for minerals.

Industrial Modules

Tech Level: 10

Industrial modules were built for a moonbase's primary business: to process minerals from moon rocks. They contained the primary processing machinery for the job. A semi-pressurized surface structure was used to house a greater volume of machinery and allow easier access to it. But machines were not the only thing needed. Also needed were vehicles.

Motorpool Modules

Tech Level: 10

Lunar rovers were housed in a motorpool module. This was pressurized to allow personnel to access the vehicles easily. No need for an EVA. There was a teleoperation workstation inside to control the vehicles. By the mid-21st century, moonbases started becoming more advanced.


Tech Level: 11

A habot was just one of many new ideas coming to fruition in the mid-21st century. It was a habitat module that moved on wheels or legs. This required a reconfiguration that was easy. A habot was expensive and difficult to maintain at first. As technology advanced, it became cheaper and easier to maintain. At the same time, tourists were coming to the Moon.

Lunar Hotels

Tech Level: 11

Lunar hotels were a series of modules designed for lunar tourism. This habitat module was designed to offer accomodations for visitors. Emphasis was placed on a pleasant living experience. They were also designed with a better visual aesthetic than than conventional habitat modules. This made lunar tourism a success. Of course, the Basic Habitat Module was not the only module that was revolutionized. The inflatable module was also revolutionized.

Inflatable Domes

Tech Level: 11

By the mid-21st century, inflatable modules could expand to much greater sizes and the usual half-cylinder configuration was no longer needed. An inflatable dome was usually made of carbon nanotubes to protect the occupants from cosmic radiation. They could used in storage or excavation or as pressurized hangars.

Pressurized Hangars

Tech Level: 12

Inflatable domes were the only modules large enough to house spacecraft and their equipment. They had larg airlocks for vehicles to get out. Sometimes, the dome was depressurized and then repressurized. Cylindrical and box-like configurations were also used. Moudles were not the only things that necessary. Surface Structures were also necessary.

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