Models and Assets of the Virtual Settlements

If you click a model or asset below it will download to your computer. Please take note of the size of the files, shown under each image. A few of them are very large.

This page is updated periodically with new versions and more items. Some of these models are still at the conceptual stage and as such are only rough drafts. Most are being actively worked on and are likely to change a great deal. If you have any technical issues with any item below, please email

Note: You must use a browser other than Internet Explorer in order to download these files. (And anyhow, um, you really should be using a different browser.)

Blender 3d models and scenes

Cernan's Promise Settlement, including Lalande Crater, most habs, and factories - 22 MB

Cernan's Promise Settlement, including Lalande Crater, most habs, and factories - 22 MB

Gagarin Anchor Station - 4.8 MB

Lalande City - 23.8 MB

Light Tube (funnels sunlight into the habs) - 908 KB

Nuclear Reactor - 572 KB

Solar Thermal Mirror Unit - 685 KB

First Polar Hab at Inukshuk Settlement - 685 KB

Rotating Shielded Radiator Unit - 1.2 MB

Solar Thermal Melter - 3.6 MB

Free Piston Stirling Engine (much like what might actually be used) - 1.1 MB

Demonstration Stirling Engine (to explain the principal) - 1.7 MB

Skyhook Lower Cable Climber - 824 KB

Tubular Habitat - Long - 605 KB

Tubular Habitat - Short - 553 KB

Hexagonal Windows - 2.5 MB

Moon Toilet - 903 KB

Other Assets

Height Maps [?] of the Moon

Height maps are used in 3d software to create terrain. The dark spots in the height map images become the low points in the terrain, the bright spots become the high points.

The source of the following height maps is the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LOLA instrument. The source file is hosted by the USGS on this page. The data of that original file was modulated in Image Magick so it would display properly in non-GIS software.

High Resolution Height Map of the Moon[?], 65,536 x 32,768 px - 146 MB. Take note of file size.

This is an 8 bit image with the same number of gray tones as the original file, though the original is a 16 bit TIFF file. When the image was resized, a nearest neighbor interpolation was done on it, which will have introduced a small amount of inaccuracy. If this concerns you, instead download the tiles in the 2nd set below, which were cut from the original file, and only remodulated so that the gray tones display properly on non-GIS software. The accuracy of the original is only good to about +/- 100 m, so i wouldn't stress about it.

32768 x 16384 - 57 MB.

16384 x 8192 - 21 MB.

8192 x 4096 - 7.5 MB.

Small Height Map of the Moon, 4096 x 2048 px - 2.5 MB.

Tile Set 1 - Image broken into 32 tiles 8192 px on a side

The whole image above, which these tiles were cut from, is centered on the center of the near side of the Moon. Thus, the first tile, and the eighth tile, are on either side of the center of the far side of the Moon, at the north pole.

If you would like all of these tiles as a set, you can download them as a zipped folder - just click Here.

Tile 1, 4.2 MB.

Tile 2, 4 MB.

Tile 3, 3.4 MB.

Tile 4, 3.1 MB.

Tile 5, 3.1 MB.

Tile 6, 3.9 MB.

Tile 7, 4.3 MB.

Tile 8, 4.3 MB.

Tile 9, 6.6 MB.

Tile 10, 6.4 MB.

Tile 11, 3.2 MB.

Tile 12, 2.7 MB.

Tile 13, 3.7 MB.

Tile 14, 5.2 MB.

Tile 15, 6.1 MB.

Tile 16, 6.7 MB.

Tile 17, 6.4 MB.

Tile 18, 6.6 MB.

Tile 19, 5.6 MB.

Tile 20, 4.1 MB.

Tile 21, 5.8 MB.

Tile 22, 5.6 MB.

Tile 23, 6.4 MB.

Tile 24, 6.6 MB.

Tile 25, 3.9 MB.

Tile 26, 4.3 MB.

Tile 27, 4.2 MB.

Tile 28, 4.1 MB.

Tile 29, 4.3 MB.

Tile 30, 4.1 MB.

Tile 31, 4 MB.

Tile 32, 4 MB.

Tile Set 2 - 32 tiles 11,520 px on a side, from the original

If you would like all of these tiles as a set, you can download them as a zipped folder - just click Here.

Tile 1, 7 MB.

Tile 2, 7 MB.

Tile 3, 6 MB.

Tile 4, 6 MB.

Tile 5, 6 MB.

Tile 6, 7 MB.

Tile 7, 8 MB.

Tile 8, 8 MB.

Tile 9, 13 MB.

Tile 10, 12 MB.

Tile 11, 6 MB.

Tile 12, 5 MB.

Tile 13, 7 MB.

Tile 14, 10 MB.

Tile 15, 12 MB.

Tile 16, 12 MB.

Tile 17, 12 MB.

Tile 18, 13 MB.

Tile 19, 11 MB.

Tile 20, 8 MB.

Tile 21, 11 MB.

Tile 22, 11 MB.

Tile 23, 12 MB.

Tile 24, 13 MB.

Tile 25, 7 MB.

Tile 26, 8 MB.

Tile 27, 7 MB.

Tile 28, 7 MB.

Tile 29, 7 MB.

Tile 30, 7 MB.

Tile 31, 7 MB.

Tile 32, 7 MB.

Resources in Building Moonwards

There are many tools, services and information sources involved in a project such as this. Would you perhaps like to check out some of them?


  • Blender 3D graphics program, which was used to create all the models.
    • The Blender foundation maintains a collection of top tutorials on Blender.
    • The Blender Stack Exchange is a great place to ask the questions that come up as you learn Blender. The community also curates a list of resources of all kinds for Blender, found here.
  • Armory game engine, which runs completely within Blender itself.
  • Godot game engine, a full-featured engine. There is talk of the Blender Foundation working with both the Armory people and the Godot people to integrate Blender development with their products.
  • GeoGebra Interactive mathematical apps, which are used to demonstrate orbital mechanics.
  • Jekyll, a static site generator, which was used to create this website.
  • Atom Editor, a hackable text editor with lots of tools that assist in coding. (Sigvart, however, swears by Gedit)

All of the above programs are open source. Moonwards uses only open source resources wherever possible.

If you are interested in learning in depth about the science and engineering of space exploration, try going here:

Learning about Space Exploration


  • The Lunar and Planetary Institute
  • TheNASA Technical Reports Server, a database of academic papers and reports produced by NASA staff going back to the 60s.
  • Solar System Exploration, a collection of NASA material on a wide range of solar system objects, missions to those places, the history of space exploration, and more.
  • Space Exloration Stack Exchange, a question and answer site for anything related to space exploration.
  • Quickmap, a 3d map of the entire Moon using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data. Data from GRAIL, Chandrayaan-1, and Clementine have also been mapped onto the virtual Moon.
  • Atomic Rockets, an overview of rocket science and design. Note the 'Click to Show Topics' text just under the logo - access the menu there.
  • Open Textbooks and Openstax both offer a wide range of quality textbooks for download or to read online. MIT Open Courseware, edX, and Khan Academy offer complete courses including test questions and online help from coaches or in forums. The material is of the finest quality.

Online Books

All of these are dated, but remain highly relevant for those seeking an overview of these areas.

Curated Resource Lists

Here are 3 lists from Space Exploration Stack Exchange where members put resources useful for learning and practicing the field.

Apollo 14 Lunar Module above the Moon, with Lalande Crater below

About Us

Kim Holder

I went to art college after high school. Then to massage therapy school when i realized i needed a separate income from a flexible job in order to make art. Then i trained at a Zen center when i burned out from doing massage (which happens a lot actually - the massage burn-out part). Meditation remains a core part of my life. After that bounced around for a few years and eventually headed down to Mexico. I have a fatigue condition which went unrecognized while i was young enough to push through it, though it affected my life a lot. When that ceased to be an option things started going into a tailspin so badly i decided to leave Canada in a desperate bid to search for a solution in a new environment. I met my husband (which was the last thing i expected) and ended up staying. I'm still here in central Mexico 15 years later.

In August of 2013, i finally found the diet and lifestyle that allowed me to have a normal energy level. Before that i'd struggled with lethargy, dopiness, sleepiness, and accompanying anxiety. It was the first time as an adult i'd been free of that for more than a couple of weeks. My reaction quickly turned from 'Eureka!' to 'so now what?...'. I was in the middle of Mexico with all my time free (my husband has a successful business and is happy for me to use my time as i wish). I really wanted to make up for lost time.

It took a while to find the right thing. I took to watching videos of successful people i admired to try to figure out what direction to take. It was quickly clear that scientists and engineers were my role models. One day i was watching an interview of Elon Musk - who i'd never heard of until a few days before - by Salman Khan of Khan Academy. He started talking about going to Mars. Now, from my early teens i've been a big science fiction and science mag consumer, and i thought 'Mars? That makes no sense. He seems like a smart guy, what's he doing?'. I had a small website (now defunct) and i started writing about that. Once i did i quickly realized i had strong feelings about this. Thus began Moonwards, a project i happily anticipate will keep me busy for the rest of my life.

Sigvart Brendberg

I am a Norwegian high-school student, currently getting a science education. I live on a small and remote island, and dislike cities as much as you would expect. In the process of learning math, physics and other cool stuff, I realized how nice the free software philosophy is. Starting there, I started my voyage to explore the world of computer programming and the internet.

On the interwebs, I discovered the beauty of space exploration, the Stack Exchange community, and finally the stumbled upon this project, Moonwards.

In my free time, I code small games and simulators, play in a brass band, read tons of fantasy and science fiction, hang out with my crazy high-school friends (me being the most crazy), spend some weekends herding smaller Southern Sami kids at camps, and attend some religious thingy. (Jesus is a cool guy, comparable to Sergej Korolev and Isaac Newton). Regarding political views, what happens on Earth stays on Earth. This is the Moon, and we have a lot of regolith to melt before we can start to fight each other.

As I have a lot of time this early in my life, the ambition is to learn as much as possible. Unicycling? No problem. Here at Moonwards, I provide content to the learn page, create animations and write about orbital mechanics and rocket engines. Mostly however, I discuss new ideas with Kim.