A VR experience that revolves around a future human settlement on the Moon. 

As we currently dive into a new era of colonization and exploitation of celestial bodies, the Moon Village —a new open collaborative robotic and human presence on the Moon— has been proposed as the next possible step in space exploration. The experience takes place on the rim of the Shackleton, a gigantic impact crater situated right on the south pole of the Moon.

With a diameter of 21km and more than 4200m deep, this imposing location is a potential candidate for a future outpost on the Moon due to its unique lighting conditions. While some of its peaks receive almost continuous sunlight, its interior (one of the coldest and darkest places in the Solar System) may have captured water ice, key for a self-sustainable lunar settlement.

Explorer mode

The “main menu” is an interactive Lunar globe with the most important landmarks. Allows to zoom in and explore the Moon a la Google Earth VR. The first landmark will be the Moon Village and the lunar Dome. More content could be curated later to include historic locations.

Basic controls

With the right controller, the user teleport as expected in a VR experience. In some occasions, is needed a robot to
retrieve samples and aid the exploration. With the left controller, the user can relocate the robot. This can be used to pick samples from a specific soil patch.

Interactive loading screens

The user has to step up, fasten the hook, and hold the two controllers as if were holding a bar. The rover will then start moving. An immersive loading screen between levels makes the experience more fluid while avoiding motion sickness and streamlining the controls for driving.

The core of this art project is a Moon Temple on the rim of the crater. The 50 m diameter dome is a tribute to humankind. It represents a fresh start without the liability of our history of division.

Interactive areas

At the landing site in the Moon Village the user will learn the basics with an immersive tutorial. It will also be the place to learn about the lunar living conditions. Later on, the user will move to a data center to learn how the structures are built through a 3d sintering machine that uses the lunar regolith to create solid structures. It will be also a place to learn about ongoing missions, retrieve samples with the help of the robot and take some pictures before moving to the next area.

The placement of a Liquid Mirror Telescope inside the temple is both a symbolic feature and a utilitarian one. When the Earth is not visible in, the telescope captures the deepest and darkest parts of the universe. Half of the time, Earth peeks in the horizon. Although is a beautiful view, the interference of our planet makes it impossible for the technology of the telescope to reach its objective. That is why within the structure there is an Agora to carry out other activities.

  • Door de centrale opening kijkt een vloeibare spiegeltelescoop naar de oudste en verste objecten in het universum. © Jorge Mañes Rubio / DITISHOE

    Door de centrale opening kijkt een vloeibare spiegeltelescoop naar de oudste en verste objecten in het universum. © Jorge Mañes Rubio / DITISHOE

  • Hoofdingang van de Tempel met aan de horizon de Aarde die opkomt. © Jorge Mañes Rubio / DITISHOE

    Hoofdingang van de Tempel met aan de horizon de Aarde die opkomt. © Jorge Mañes Rubio / DITISHOE

  • Bovenaanzicht van het interieur van de koepel © Jorge Mañes Rubio / DITISHOE

    Bovenaanzicht van het interieur van de koepel © Jorge Mañes Rubio / DITISHOE

About the Authors

Jorge Mañes Rubio

Artist by the Royal College of Art (London, 2010), TED Fellow (2014), awarded by S&R Foundation Washington in 2015 and Artist in Residence at the European Space Agency. He walks the line between Science, Sociology, Politics and Environment, he faces universal subjects from a strong and alternative point of view. His extensive portfolio can be found in seethisway.

Javier Martínez Ávila

Architect by ETSAUN (Technical University of Navarra, 2013). His work experience in The Netherlands began with an internship in 2010 in the City Hall of Amsterdam and continued later at the architecture studio SeARCH in 2014. Two years later, he found himself in the perfect position to develop his idea of a transversal design discipline united by VR and started DITISHOE.

Colophon

Peak of Eternal Light and the Moon Temple have been created by Jorge Mañes Rubio as artist in residence at the European Space Agency ESA. Spatial design, visualization and VR experience in collaboration with DITISHOE.

All Images (Unless stated otherwise) © Jorge Mañes Rubio | DITISHOE

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