Lunar habitat in the Matterhorn glacier paradise


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Twenty teams of students from all over Europe are participating in Project Igluna, which is developing housing for people on the moon. The idea is to build a habitat in ice under the moon’s surface, a space where people can live in the hostile lunar environment.

The fieldwork will be demonstrated and tested from 17 June to 3 July 2019 at the Glacier Palace in the Matterhorn glacier paradise and as part of an exhibition at the Backstage Hotel Vernissage in the heart of Zermatt.

The individual projects include an autonomous robot made by the ETH Zurich which can cut out ice blocks with a saw and then build them into walls, and an optimized, self-contained cultivation system using human waste as fertilizer that has been developed by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). 

The ETH Lausanne is developing a method to analyse the correlation between the habitat design and the social behaviour of the inhabitants, as well as an automated structure for the ZHAW hydroponic cultivation system, an extended arch construction made of wood and XPS sandwich panels for the habitat’s architecture, a special ice saw and a 3D virtual reality model.

Project Igluna is being coordinated by the Swiss Space Centre. The project is supported by the European Space Agency ESA and the Swiss Space Office of the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER).

A team from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is contributing an algae bioreactor which generates oxygen.

Project site

glacier palace

The Glacier Palace is at an altitude of 3883 metres, under the Theodul Glacier. The minimum temperature in this icy environment 15 metres beneath the glacier’s surface is a constant -4°C. How will the students cope with the extreme conditions in their habitat?

Be there and observe the work of the research team in the Matterhorn glacier paradise at first hand.

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Swiss Space Center

Do you know the Swiss Space Center? Would you like to know more about the IGLUNA project?

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Igluna Project at the Glacier Palace
Mathias Imoberdorf, Communication & Media Manager at Zermatt Bergbahnen – Zermatt (Apr 19')