Resource Libraries

To work on, or use, our 3d assets or code, go to the relevant GitHub repository:


Code for all the apps on the Learn page, plus datasets on the planets and on rocket engines.

Moonwards Virtual Moon

Everything used to build the virtual lunar town.

For those who would like purely the colony of Cernan's Promise in a stand-alone format, download one of these zip files:

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.

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.

Sculpting References for Lalande Crater

From Apollo 14 - 1.4 MB

From Apollo 16 (Shot 1) - 1.3 MB

From Apollo 16 (Shot 2) - 1.3 MB

From QuickMap (Montage) - 1.3 MB

Software and Learning

The following software are used to create the virtual colonies and this website. All are open source, Moonwards uses only open source wherever possible. The software can be downloaded at the links.


  • Blender 3D graphics program
    • 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.
  • 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 available plug-ins.
  • Gedit), a cleaner text editor, also with lots of plug-ins available.

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