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2016-01-31 03:27:56 Post No. 938757
Post No. 938757
I got bored and decided to do the math on what it would take to make a moon base out of modified intermodal containers.
First, some basics:
- An unloaded, stock 40 foot intermodal container weighs about 2.5 tons, a loaded container can usually hold up to 8 tons
- 1 atm of air inside it is about 14 lbs/square inch. Using that as a baseline, a container that could remain airtight in a vacuum would also need to remain watertight at a depth of 10 meters (where PSI is 30 lbs/square inches)
- The Apollo program spacesuits each weighed about 145 pounds, with eight layers of protection. That's about 18.5 lbs per layer. It takes about 6 square yards of fabric to cover a person (using a jumpsuit style cut). Thus, 18.5 lbs of spacesuit material is 6 square yards.
- A stock 40 foot container has a surface area of 202,752 square inches, which is about 157 square yards, or 2,904 lbs (1.5 tons), and has a volume of 2,560 cubic feet, which translates into 206 lbs (0.103 tons)
- NASA's Space Launch System (currently in development) has a max payload of 70 tons. The original Apollo Lunar Module weighs 2.3 tons. The Apollo Command Module weighs 32.
Thus, assuming that each container weighs 7 tons (double the structural support + 1.5 tons for insulation +.5 for air/other stuff), each stock SLS could carry 10. Only problem is getting it down to the moon's surface from lunar orbit.
Also, for life support a human requires about 3170 gallons (255 lbs) of air and 1 gallon (10 pounds) of water a day. A single frozen Hungry-Man Smokin' Backyard Barbeque TV dinner weighs about 1 pound, 3 pounds per day. So, for a 365 day mission, you'd need 97,820 (49 tons) of air, water and food (not including freezer storage, cooking appliances, or waste disposal though). I also didn't factor in the weight of airlocks or furniture (which would obviously add weight).