HASSELL's modular moon habitat for EU space agency uses 3D printed parts from lunar soil

HASSELL's modular moon habitat for EU space agency uses 3D printed parts from lunar soil

HASSELL’s modular moon habitat for European Space Agency


Design practice HASSELL unveils its conceptual modular moon architecture and habitat that it co-designed with the European Space Agency and Cranfield University. Named the Lunar Habitat Masterplan, the 3D model of the dubbed first permanent human settlement on the moon was presented at the ESA’s Space Research and Technology Center in the Netherlands as part of the annual Space for Inspiration event between January 18th and 19th, 2024.


HASSELL introduces a design that employs 3D-printed modular components that double as the moon habitat’s protective shell. The shape embodies the form of a hexapod, with its building blocks assembled one by one and interlocked. This helps shield the modular extraterrestrial habitat from radiation on the moon, a necessary factor to allow the community of up to 144 people to safely live on the lunar surface.


What’s more in the design is its ability to be regenerated using materials directly sourced from the moon such as lunar soil. In HASSELL’s conceptual architecture, there is a 3D printer on-site at the habitat, so the residents can rebuild and repair the modular components without needing assistance from people on Earth.

hassell modular moon habitat european space agency
Lunar Model | images courtesy of HASSELL (unless stated)



3D-printed interlocking parts from lunar soil


Tetrapods, which are adopted as wave-dissipating structures for places like Japan to enforce seawalls and breakwaters and prevent erosion, serve as the ideal model for the modular moon habitat designed by HASSELL for the European Space Agency’s Discovery Program. The interlocking mechanisms surrounding the architecture allow for flexibility during and after construction. These 3D-printed parts from lunar soil can be stacked up like bricks and easily removed, a concept that materializes how HASSELL envisions its Lunar Habitat Masterplan. These hexapods on the moon can be reconfigured to reflect the size of future settlements, all built with an anti-fragile approach to construction so they can weather the harsh conditions on the lunar surface.

hassell modular moon habitat european space agency
Lunar Model



The Lunar Habitat Masterplan was also developed in collaboration with anthropologists, psychologists, roboticists, and astronauts and was tested using advanced digital simulations through HoudiniFX software. It regards both what it takes to make a habitat habitable and how to build a permanent society on the moon that can house nearly 150 people in reduced gravity. HASSELL’s design then focuses on a human-centric concept that adopts necessities, amenities, and facilities for a lunar population. This includes the construction of enriching habitats like massive greenhouses as well as social, recreational, and active areas like dining and bar establishments and sports facilities within the moon habitat.

hassell modular moon habitat european space agency
Lunar Model



South lunar pole as the modular moon habitat’s site


The moon faces harsh environmental conditions, including radiation exposure and solar storms. If everything goes according to plan, HASSELL’s modular moon habitat for the European Space Agency is planned to be constructed at the South Lunar Pole, on the edge of the Shackleton Crater, close to where the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft landed earlier this year. It is an ideal place for construction because of its closeness to the crater, potential for frozen bodies of water, and distance from lunar night, which means pitch-black darkness, and almost continual daylight.

hassell modular moon habitat european space agency
front view of the Lunar Habitat Master Plan | image © IMIGO



HASSELL’s modular moon habitat aims to be suitable for future lunar residents with its movable feature hoping to maximize the use of surrounding lunar materials for sustainable growth, all the while facing the challenges of the lunar surface which include high levels of radiation and a lack of atmosphere, water, and oxygen. HASSELL hopes that by 2024, its modular moon habitat can support the work of organizations like NASA, the European Space Agency, and JAXA along with businesses, travelers, and commercial space agencies.

hassell modular moon habitat european space agency
aerial view of the Lunar Habitat Master Plan | image © IMIGO


Lunar Habitat Master Plan concept | image by Lightfield

hassell modular moon habitat european space agency
bar and backlines | from here, all images © IMIGO

hassell modular moon habitat european space agency
bedroom view


backlines view


project info:


name: Lunar Habitat Master Plan 

design practice: HASSELL

agency: European Space Agency

program: Discovery Program

collaboration: Cranfield University

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