Provide habitation capabilities to enable a Lunar commerce to thrive while humans explore and exploit local resources to become Earth-independent while establishing a permanent sustainable human presence on the Moon.
United Space Structures (USS) has developed a unique construction process for building very large permanent structures within lunar lava tubes. This same process could also be used in lava tubes on Mars. The advantage of building within lava tubes is that the lava tube provides protection from radiation and meteor strikes and so the habitat structure does not require to be hardened from these elements. The structures only need to create an atmospheric structurally stable enclosure that is thermally insulated.
The majority of the building materials will be lunar in-situ materials for the first structure, but subsequent structures will be almost 100% made from lunar in-situ materials. These structures are designed to house at least 100 persons along with all the equipment required to become a self-sustaining facility with little or no resupplying from Earth. The structure will be a high-rise cylindrical tension structure coated with lunar cement that will span from the floor of the lava tube to the apex of the roof of the lava tube. The overall dimension of the structure will be 100-meter tall or 328 feet by 30.5-meter diameter or 100 feet diameter. There will be 25 stories at 13.1’ floor to floor and have an area per floor ~699.34 m2 x 25 = 17,483.5 m2 total (188,190.8 SF) total. In theory the scale of the structure is only limited to the interior volume size of the lava tube. Multiple structures can and will be built within a single lava tube.
The purpose of the structures is to provide a permanent self-sustaining facility to support residents who wish to work on the Moon for either lunar mining or scientific operations. Due to the configuration of the design the facility will provide easy access to and from the surface of the moon to the interior of the lava tube and the facility itself. Due to the volume of the structure the facility will provide ample housing for residents in addition to support functions such as food production and service, recreation, utility functions, robotic teleoperation work areas and a datacenter for data storage and processing.
USS intends to build their robotic construction systems on Earth and ship them to the moon and once the first facility is built these same systems will continue to build additional structures not only within the initial lava tube but also within other lava tubes found around the moon wherever desirable resources can be found. USS intends to become a real estate developer and construction company for both the Moon and Mars.
Large Interior Volume
The interior of lunar hi-rise facility is designed to be reconfigurable within the structures floor levels. A modular panel system is used for walls. These panels are structural, but in addition they contain electrical, data fresh water, wastewater systems. The panels will also have integrated lighting, heating and cooling system in addition to a variety of sensors that will monitor all life support and safety systems throughout the facility.
Radiation & Ballistic Protection
The lunar hi-rise facility will be located within an existing lava tube and will have 30-50 meters of lunar regolith above it for both radiation and ballistic protection so the structure itself does not need additional shielding. The temperature within the lava tubes is a constant -20C so no wild temperature fluxuations like the surface.
Easy Lunar Access
The facility has quick and easy access to both the lunar surface for mining or scientific exploration and to the interior of the lava tube which can be tens of kilometers in length. The surface rover port provides airlocks to the lunar surface for those on foot or access to the rovers using the hatches.
Timeline and Roadmap:
USS intends to conduct an intensive 6 years of research and development for the first datacenter outpost on the Moon, the robotics and crewed expeditions that will construct the facility, and the contracting and partnerships necessary to deliver USS assets to the surface and for operations.
Our first lunar settlement on the Moon is envisioned to start operations in ~2028, beginning with robotic prospecting missions and then later with follow-on crewed expeditions using commercial carriers and partners without relying on NASA Lunar Gateway infrastructure and the Artemis program. We are in the process of developing a very unique construction process and proprietary robotic equipment to build our large facilities that are partially in-situ-derived structures within lava tubes, first on the Moon, then subsequently on Mars as part of the first expeditions there proposed by SpaceX.
Each of our facilities (tower structures) will be tailored to each unique lava tube characteristics and size. We envision the first tower to be ~25 stories tall and have 188,000 square feet / 17,466 square meters of living and working floor space. Because the facilities are located within the lava tubes the dangers of exposure from radiation and meteors is nearly eliminated. Because they will be located in near proximity to proposed commercial outposts and colonies, our towers will enable leveraging of local infrastructure, resources, and labor and therefore result in cross-contracting and mutually synergistic benefits of a robust ecosystem. Each of the Lunar and Mars lava tubes is many kilometers long. There are 62 known lava tubes on the Moon identified from current surface imaging data, our early exploration goals will be to select prospective sites.
These facilities will sustainably host several different types of client tenants for very long-term stays. They include lunar mining operations, national space agencies and scientists, space launch companies, US Space Force, and lunar tourists. USS wishes to establish a major solar system internet hub system initially on the moon and later on Mars that will be connected to satellites around the moon and Mars and other locations throughout the solar system to establish the infrastructure for a solar system wide internet. As a result ISP’s Internet Service Providers will be another client tenant and we will build extensive data centers within our facilities.
USS will generate revenue through long-term leasing agreements from client occupants of the facilities. While leasing costs have not been determined yet revenue is anticipated to generate in excess of $1.88 billion dollars annually for each facility.
United Space Structures is a real estate development company that will derive its revenue through long term leasing of the pressured facilities. Lunar miners are one of the target markets for the USS facility. This group can teleoperate their robotic equipment around the clock on the lunar surface from the comfort and safety of our facility. Lunar mining will unlock invaluable resources needed for in-space development of infrastructure required for human expansion into the solar system. The metals and other minerals will be used for building in-space fuel depots initially in cislunar space but eventually expanded throughout the solar system. The lunar resources can also be used for building space stations and large spaceships. The great advantage of mining these resources on the moon is due to the reduced gravity of the moon which is 1/6th that of Earth and so six times more mass can be lifted off the moon compared to Earth for the same amount of energy.
USS would charge mining tenants $10,000 square foot to occupy the facility a year, total income $1.88 billion for the entire facility
In the last 30+ years the internet has completely transformed human life on Earth unlike anything we could have imagined 40 years ago. Another target market for USS is data centers on the moon and then eventually on Mars to expand communication and transference of data beyond the surface of Earth. The moon and Mars represent ultra secure repositories of data storage that are completely immune to any and all activities on Earth either natural or manmade and so the ideal location for storage for the most important and precious data content humans have. Lunar data centers are also an ideal location for mission critical data processing of information that requires uninterrupted process time and is always available to be transmitted to Earth or beyond. As humans expand into the solar system and populations grow on the moon and Mars the data centers on the moon and Mars will become essential data hubs for a solar system wide internet system.
USS would charge ISP tenants $100,000 per square foot to occupy the facility a year, total income $3.76 billion for five of the 25 floors of the facility.
Return on Investment:
USS will generate return on investment (“ROI”) through cross-contracting transactions with identified and prospective customers. Early-term ROI is expected to be generated through these local-based prospective customers who require computing strength and access to data storage solutions, in addition to the valuable proprietary information gained on geological structures, and the IP developed for the construction of the towers themselves including materials used and processes created. Additional operational revenue generation opportunities, including exploration mission servicing not initially estimated, though generally anticipated, would further supplement operational ROI and are incumbent upon local third-party roadmaps. Long-term ROI anticipates local user-service fees for individual local settlers, local companies operating in an expanded coverage area, and includes the prospective IP developed, discoveries made, products created, construction services rendered, and other various intangibles sources which will further increase prospective long-term ROI forecasting.