Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, 1996


To design and construct a model of a communications system to be used by people living and working on the Moon.

Key Words



"Moon ABCs Fact Sheet"

construction materials
such as cardboard boxes
and tubes, blocks, hoses,
straws, string, pins, rubber
bands, tape, etc.


What different ways do we have of communicating with each other here on Earth? Do some methods work better short distance than long distance? What are the strong points of each of these methods? What limitations does each have?

Why do you think communication would be important in each of the following situations:

  • Between Moonbase settlers within their constructed settlement,

  • Between settlers in the settlement and those conducting missions elsewhere on the surface of the Moon,

  • Between Moonbase and Earth (How long does it take for a radio signal to travel the distance between Earth and the Moon?)

Review the facts you have learned about the Moon. Do you think any of the communications methods on Earth (from Question 1) would be impractical on the Moon? Why or why not? Which communications methods on Earth do you think would be particularly useful on the Moon? What features of these methods might you have to modify?

Design a communications system to be used by the Moonbase inhabitants which will have components to satisfy the different situations listed in Question 2. You may assume that ample electricity will be available.

Construct a model of this system based on your design. It must include the application of at least four facts from the "Moon ABCs Fact Sheet." For example, how will the Moon's gravity affect the design of your system? Maybe your system will be very heavy but still portable by only a few Moonbase workers because the Moon's gravity is only 1/6th of Earth's gravity.

Make a detailed and labeled sketch of the model.

Go to "Moon ABCs Fact Sheet."

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