Once a permanent base is set up on the Moon, it’s going to need lots of supplies shipped up from Earth. And these shipments, like water, food and air, absolutely, positively have to get there on time, or people die.
A team of researchers from MIT have created a software tool called SpaceNet that models this interplanetary supply chain. It’s based on a series of nodes in stable orbits around the Earth, Moon and Mars. These nodes act as supply depots or transfer points. As bases in space expand in population and complexity, the amount of material coming and going through these nodes would scale up.
The researchers tested their models by spending a season at the NASA-sponsored Haughton-Mars Research Station in the Canadian arctic. They kept careful track of the supplies going in and out on flights to understand consumption rates.
Original Source: MIT News Release