A moon habitat in Greenland

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LUNARK - A moon habitat in Greenland

SCIENCE 18. APR. 2021

Two Danish space architects, Sebastian Aristotelis, 26, and Karl-Johan Sørensen, 24, conceptualized the LUNARK Habitat - a simulated Moon habitat for research, with the aim that it one day can sustain life on the Moon.

Isolated in one of the harshest climates on Earth, they were ready to test their Habitat in Greenland.

The dream

Two Danish space architects, Sebastian Aristotelis, 26, and Karl-Johan Sørensen, 24, with a dream of making outer space accessible for everyone. Both studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture (KADK) and The International Space University. They've put all of our efforts into designing the most advanced and livable Moon Home. The ultimate goal is to develop the best future Moon habitat. A home for humans, not just the trained astronauts.

They have built the Habitat in Denmark. Partnering with scientists, engineers, and polar experts. The Habitat will be tested over three months in Northern Greenland.

Sebastian Aristotelis and Karl-Johan Sørensen will live in it for three months, disconnected from civilization on a fully-fledged lunar analogue mission.

The habitat

In order to save space during transport and maximize space for the astronauts, the habitat is deployable. It features a closed origami shell comprised of rigid carbon fiber panels. The design has been algorithmically optimized resulting in a measured expansion of 750%.

The LUNARK habitat is an example of what happens when the architect steps back and allows the extreme environment on the Moon and the high arctic to mold a habitat around two human beings. Inspired by the patterns seen in a budding leaf as it unfolds, we created an origami habitat which unfolds from a tight bud to a large ovoid shape with a rigid carbon fibre shell. It’s exterior is tough as a tank while its interior is a cozy home with a sense of nordic “hygge”.

A black glossy shell made of carbon fiber makes out the main exterior of the habitat. The carbon fiber structure is sandwich panels with a foam core for extra insulation. Carbon Fiber is ideal because it’s lightweight - which is crucial for transport and unfolding - yet strong. The panels are connected by a white foldable composite rubber. The main load bearing structure is an aluminium frame.

Mission overview

One and a half years ago, they started conceptualizing the LUNARK Habitat - a simulated Moon habitat for research, with the aim that it one day can sustain life on the Moon. Having spent thousands of hours designing, researching, and prototyping, they started constructing the Habitat in June. They finished it on Sunday, August 23 and shipped it to Greenland on August 24. 

Isolated in one of the harshest climates on Earth, they were ready to test our Habitat, enduring -30°C, hurricane winds, and hungry polar bears when they venture on their most extreme project to date. They will live in complete solitude, cut off from the rest of the world to test the architecture, themselves, and technologies for future Moon missions.

Research - Sharing the findings

The lessons they learn over the mission will be shared and implemented in future Moon habitat designs. They will be conducting a range of scientific research in collaboration with scientists and professors in various fields. 

Current analogue missions carried out by the space industry often have a major limitation - they do not involve real danger. Arctic Greenland is one of the most Moon-like places on Earth. A strange, desolate white planet. By going there they don't have to pretend. It will feel real.

Other stories from Greenland


EXPLORE 22. JUL. 2021

Qullissat, a disused coal mining town on the northeast coast of Disko island in West Greenland close to Ilulissat and former capital of the similarly disused Vaigat Municipality. When the settlement was closed down and evacuated in 1972, it had over 1000 inhabitants. Buildings and many machines still stand, as when the place was left.

Icelandic horses in Nuuk

TOURISM 28. MAY. 2021

In July 2020 four icelandic horses arrived in Nuuk as the first of several. The Icelandic horse is a breed of horse developed in Iceland to withstand the harsh climate on the island and is still used for traditional sheepherding work.The plan is to acquire more horses, build a riding hall, a cafe, holiday cabins and establish a public offer of riding lessons as well as tourist activities.

New Icefjord Centre

TOURISM 22. APR. 2021

The concept of ​​a new visitor center by the Icefjord on the west coast of Greenland in Ilulissat, 250 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, is now being made a reality. The vision was to build a new Icefjord Center, which will be the first of a total of five visitor centers, which together will lift Greenland to a whole new level as a tourist destination.

Extreme-E coming to Greenland

EVENTS 17. APR. 2021

Extreme E visits Greenland in August 2021 during its inaugural campaign to race close to the retreating Russell Glacier in Kangerlussuaq to raise awareness of the rate at which ice is melting at the poles.

Extreme-E series will be the first motorsport series ever to take place in the country after the first two events in Saudi Arabia and Senegal.

Dinosaurs in Greenland

SCIENCE 18. APR. 2021

After a sudden change in the climate around 200 million years ago in late Triassic, both meat and plant easting dinosaurs suddenly appeared in the eastern part of Greenland.

The arrival coincides with the fact that the Earth in that late Triassic time period experienced wild climate change where the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere fell by half.

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