Should we build the Moon Hotel in the tunnels of a porous lunar mare? Or create a hive-like network of surface structures, covered in lunar soil? Should we blow a hole in a crater, fill it with interconnected inflatable habitats and cover it over again? Or what about a parade of gargantuan Winnebagos forever journeying the Moon?

A Hotel on the Moon is a fabulous proposition, and Project Moon’s current mission is to generate, through research and imagination, as many Moon Hotel designs as possible.


If so, have a read through our Moon Hotel Challenges and Moon Science pages and see what you can think of. Or, if you’re already familiar with a plausible habitat, send us a comment, we’ll be more than happy to chat with you.

A number of lunar habitation designs have been presented over the years. And while we’ve by no means looked at all of them, of the designs we have so far perused, the following, based on research by Haym Benaroya  (Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers University) and Leonhard Bernold (Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engine, University of New South Wales), are by far the most plausible and attractive.

Lava Tube Design

Our current favourite, Lava Tubes are pre-made structures that satisfy with ease most of our lunar problems.

Volcanic vents through which lava flows during volcanic activity, on Earth, they’re found on the flanks of shield volcanoes, while on the Moon they’re in lava plains that formed upwards of 4-billion years ago.

Lava Tubes provide existing ample protection from micrometeorite rain, cosmic rays, solar ultraviolet rays and flares. They are also relatively temperate for the Moon: scientists estimate their subsurface temperature to range from -30 to -40˚C. Compared to a climatic surface pendulum swinging from 100˚C to -150˚C each lunar day, that’s a welcome degree of stability.

They’re also likely to be interconnected, thereby allowing underground maze like settlements. And winning us over more completely, little external work is required. The tubes would just need to be sealed and pressurised – although pressurisation could be a problem.

There is also almost conclusive evidence to suggest the existence of lava tubes in the Hadley Rile, Marius Hills region, Mare Serenitatis (east of the Mare Imbrium) and Hyginus Rille (east of Sinus Medii) – all on the near side of the moon.

Inflatable Design

Inflatable designs have considerable advantages over others.

They could easily be used to optimise living space and use lightweight materials, thus significantly reducing transport costs. Fundamentally though, inflatable designs tackle the structural issues generated by the outward force of a highly pressurised internal environment.

Inflatables, however, would be subject to micrometeorites and solar abrasion – the consequence of a weakness in the material being catastrophic. But covering the inflatables in a thick layer of lunar regolith, would probably resolve this problem.

Rover Design

Lunar Winebagos are another option. Moon buggies have already blasted trails across the moons surface, and the same principles would apply.  While the prospect of the first lunar hotel being a Winebago, or number of Winebagos may not at first tickle your fancy, a roving moon base has its benefits. Number one being the capacity to explore much of the lunar surface.

More to come

Stay tuned, we’ll be adding more designs soon…

Interested in discussing Moon Hotel possibilities? Wanting to share what you know? Visit the Moon Hotel Forum [LINK]. 

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