Artemis Project Tour
Section 1.4.
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A Walk Around the Moon Base

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Images ©1998 Vik Olliver
Select your viewing position.

Start your walk around the moonbase in the northeast, and use the compass to select your viewing position. If you move your mouse in a little circle, tracking around the compass, you can animate the image as your viewpoint moves around the moonbase.


Starting in the northeast, you see Moonbase Artemis with its external equipment laid out on the surface of the moon. Earth is full, floating above the southwestern lunar horizon, and the sun is rising behind you. You can get a peek at the the interior of the habitat through its six round windows. Green plants inside the habitat are the start of our closed-loop life support system.

solar power array

No, those aren't holes in the ground. We've set up solar power arrays with their reflecting mirrors in front of the moonbase. The mirrors triple, or even quadruple, the amount of sunlight concentrated on the solar cells. They're made of simple reflective foil, which the crew has unrolled on the ground.


Two members of our crew are setting up the high-gain antenna. They'll need to turn it around to point at the earth before they can send full video home to us.


Nearby, our faithful little robot is taking pictures. Note its little brush. The robot will use that brush later to push moon dust over the exploration base to protect it from temperature extremes, radiation, and meteoroid impacts. Before they leave, the crew will erect a canopy over the base; the robot will pile the lunar soil on this canopy. This provides a protected environment beneath the canopy for external equipment, and allows later crews to get to the outside of the habitat for maintenance. The canopy also provides a dormer, so that the windows of the lunar base don't get covered with moon dust.

descent stage

Move clockwise around the compass past the solar power station you will get a close-up view of the engines and fuel tanks of the Descent Stage. This rocket assembly landed the base on the moon. Now that they're on the moon, the fuel tanks become a storage depot for oxygen mined from the lunar soil. Perhaps a future crew will recycle the rocket engines; we will many uses for turbine pumps and combustion chambers as we develop industries on the moon.

ascent stage

Mounted to the side of the Descent Stage, you see the open-cockpit Ascent Stage that our crew will use to fly from the surface of the moon to the Lunar Transfer Vehicle. The LTV is orbiting the moon, waiting to bring our crew back to Earth at the end of the mission. If you look closely, you can see the third crewmember checking out the Ascent Stage, making sure it will be ready at a moment's notice to carry the crew to lunar orbit.


As you move around toward toward the southwest, the airlock comes into view. This T-shaped vestibule is the front door to the habitat. The hatch on the end was docked to the Lunar Transfer Vehicle during the trip out from Earth. Light glinting off the airlock window is a reflection of the mountains around Angus Bay. On the moon, our crewmembers will use the side hatch to enter and leave the lunar exploration base.


Moving around the airlock, back toward the front of the base, you can see the lightweight stairs that the crew have erected in front of the airlock. And that brings us full circle back to our starting point!

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Fine print: Errata and Artistic License

OK, so it ain't perfect. Here's a list of some of the glitches in these scenes:

  1. We'll probably want to orient the lunar exploration base the other way, with the windows facing toward the earth.
  2. If we land at Angus Bay, the sun won't be that far north. The orientation of the earth and the sun in the sky is closer to the view we'd get if we land near the equator at Mare Marginis or Mare Smythii.
  3. The region around Angus Bay will probably have more hills, rilles, and rocks than we're showing in these views.
  4. The crew probably won't let the high-gain antenna point directly at the sun while they're setting it up. If they did this, reflection from the parabolic array would cook the electronics.
  5. The support structure for the lunar base might have to be more robust than what we're showing here. We haven't yet completed the structural analysis of the lunar exploration base in its deployed configuration.
  6. The three Spacehab Modules which make up the pressurized element of the lunar exploration base might not be as distincly visible as you see in these scenes.
  7. Equipment for the regolith canopy isn't shown in these views.
  8. The solar power panels will be laid out to point southward, with reflectors to pick up sunlight as the sun moves from southeast to southwest during the long lunar day.
  9. The crew will probably use a clothesline to move equipment out of the airlock to the lunar surface. They will set up this equipment next to the airlock stairs.

Shameless commercialism:

You've seen the moonbase; now you can hang it on your wall!

Artemis Project Reference Mission Poster

This full-color, full-size poster depicting all of the Artemis Project Reference Mission is your gift when you join the Moon Society!

The Reference Mission Poster is a collaborative effort by many members of Artemis Society International. In addition to the artwork shown in this web document, it includes views of the space station in Earth orbit, the Lunar Transfer Vehicle, the moon-landing stack descending to the moon, and the path the spacecraft follow between the Earth and the moon.

Note that the trajectory shown in the poster passes right over the reference mission landing site at Angus Bay, on the northeastern shores of Mare Crisium.

The side bar on the right-hand side of the poster explains the reference mission step-by-step, from the Earth to the moon.

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