Station interior space

Interior of the space base is an important part of the game. The astronauts will stay for ever in this space, and will need to keep a good health and sanity. However, at first, the base will be built from module brought back from earth, as it is not possible to manufacture aerospace-grade material, such as a pressure vessel, with local ressources at first.

The first design concept of interior space is based on a 3.7 meters (12 feet) diameter – 7 meters long (22 feet) cylinder module. Its weight is estimated at 2-3 tons. This is a realistic size for something to put on top of a rocket. The diameter is based on a very famous rocket that just brought people to space yesterday ;-).

First draft of living quarters for 3 people, internal doors and curtains not shown

The picture shown here is a first concept for a 3 people living quarter (one couple and one single), with a dining / working area, a sofa, and a small kitchen with the signature Outer Space Shack strawberry ice cream dispenser. Some walls and curtains are not shown.

One focus of the layout is to provide a vast interior space around to make the stay in the station less oppressive. This is a lesson I got from the lockdown: We had to stay in my flat for 2 months. It was never oppressive thanks to the high ceiling (around 10 feet) we enjoy in our 1930s building. So I think providing high ceiling will help with morale. It is also the place where people can exercise. There is not much point in being stingy on space for the living quarters, as most of the modules will be used for agriculture.

I expect that, in addition to one module for living, 3 people will require around 3 modules of hydroponics plantation to grow food. The back of the envelope calculation runs as following:

A high yielding crop such as potato yields 40tons / ha / year, which is 4kg per square meter per year. However, in our base, yields will be higher thanks to hydroponics, and optimal lighting of the plants, round the clock if needed. It is reasonable to expect a 5 times higher yield in those conditions, which is 20kg.sq meter. Considering one person needs around 2kg of food per day, and some extras, this means around 50 sq. meter per inhabitant. Keeping a passage in the middle, and 3 layers of plants, one of our modules can easily host 50 sq.m of culture, so the base will need one agriculture module per inhabitant to be mostly autonomous.

First draft of greenhouse module. 10% of capacity converted to an ‘indoor balcony’

To have a working base for 3 people, you probably also need another module to stack material, tools and spare parts, also recycle organic matters. so that would be 5 modules in total.

Gameplay

Outer Space Shack is all about building your base, and managing resources and people on it.

First day mockup of the game. Final graphics will be better

Choosing an entity

In Outer Space Shack, you can play government agencies or private parties, including companies and rich individuals. Depending on the entity, access to funding, technology and approach to risk will be different.

Import from earth

To build a base, the first step is launching rockets from earth or from other space bodies. You can launch automatic missions with robots, human missions with return to earth, human one-way missions, and payload missions. Depending on the era of the game, and also the entity you choose, starting with the Apollo era, payload and price will vary. Earth-supply missions will be your main cost, so your goal is to optimize and limit them.

Base construction

A base is made of outside buildings, such as a gas tank and solar pannel, inhabited building modules, and inside equiment inside the inhabited modules. All components can be either brought from Earth, or manufactured locally. At first, only basic construction material can be manufactured locally.

All components are linked together by a network of electrical cables and pipes of the different fluid resources, such as oxygen, water, hydrogen. Components may produce or consume the fluids, and produce or consume physical goods.

Most components need maintenance, done by human, robots, and potentially spare parts. Corrosion from regolith and solar radiations will have to be managed.

Ressources Management

To keep a base working, resources will need to be balanced during the day/night cycle, and also between earth supply missions. When resources lack, some equipments may stop working, and humans may weaken or die.

Oxygen

Oxygen can be produced by plants, and also by extraction from regolith and minerals. Oxygen can be used to produce water, for human people to breath, and also as a fuel for rockets, in combination with hydrogen.

Water

Water is needed for humans to drink, for hygiene. It can also be split to produce oxygen and hydrogen, a fuel for rockets. Some locations may allow to extract water ice on the moon, and it is abundant on March.

Hydrogen

Hydrogen is needed to produce water, and as a fuel for rockets. It can also be used to store energy.

Food and organic material

Humans need to food, and produce organic material waste. Waste can be made into soil, and soil is used to grow plants that grow food. Intensive farming will be core of Outer Space Shack, and it will represent the majority of inhabited modules. To ensure good astronauts morale, strawberries, watermelons and a strawberry ice cream dispenser will be included in the first release of the game (a request from my daughters).

Electricity

Electricity is used to control the climate, to power all equipments. It can be produced by solar panels, hydrogen, and nuclear reactors. It can be stored in batteries or by transforming water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Climate Control

Inhabited modules need to be kept at a comfortable temperature for earth-based life, say between 15 and 25 degrees. This requires good insulation, and the appropriate climate control.

Morale

Your space shack will be inhabited by a few people. They need to keep sane while spending most of their time in a space as big as an airliner. To keep morale, you need good food, sports, a nice living space, hygiene, and leisure.

Health and medical

Your settlers will need to keep healthy. A priority will be to shield them from space radiations, so to limit outside time, and cover your inhabited modules with shielding material. Your settlers will also have diseases and will need to be cured with the limited equipment available.

Construction

Aluminium is easy to extract from regolith, so it should be possible to manufacture simple metallic structures quite early in the base life. While not suited to aerospace grade material, such as inhabited modules. Your first metal production can be used for solar panel feet, feet for external light, structure for the regolith shielding material for the inhabited modules.

Primary construction also includes regolith bricks, a useful element to build concrete surfaces and limit regolith corrosion, and to build shields for radiation above your inhabited modules.

Money

You will need money to buy equipments and launch supply missions from earth. There will be also some opportunities to make money, such as space tourists, performing experiments and testing material, and also supplying some equipment to other space settlements. Do not expect your base to be self-sustaining at first, so fundraising on earth will be important.