Lunar Village People (LVP) | Mission to the Moon!

Awards & Nominations

Lunar Village People (LVP) has received the following awards and nominations. Way to go!

Global Nominee

The Challenge | Mission to the Moon!

Use NASA Data to Plan a Rover Mission on the Moon!

Mapping Moon´s lava tubes for future human settlements

We are innovators in a space sensor which measures IR with configurable bands and magnetometry to map Moon’s lava tubes in order to build colonies inside them.

Lunar Village People (LVP)


We are an international and interdisciplinary group of people, passionate about science and we believe that teamwork is the key to achieve any goal. Some of us knew each other from past Hackathons and for others this was their first, but all integrated and committed to the project in a very energetic way. We all put our grain of sand to make this idea the best we can and always were opened to new points of view, proposals and critics because we know that is the way ideas grow and become better. We are very happy to be participating because this experience also gave us the possibility of knowing new people and make friends. The time we have shared will live in us forever!

We are LVP!:

  • Romina Gabriela Hakl: I have a degree in International Trade from the University of the Marina Mercante (UdeMM). I work at the International department of a bank and study geology at University of Buenos Aires (UBA). I have always been interested in science and as soon as I found out about the Hackathon I wanted to participate in it to be able to interact with people from different fields and expand my knowledge and skills. I found this opportunities very rich because they give us the chance to develop both professionally and socially, so I am grateful to participate.
  • Hernan M. R. Giannetta: I've finished my PhD on September 2017, related to the development of a infrared-imager sensor tunable (dynamic frequency tuning of the sensor), based on the infrared tuning absorption properties of graphene. Previously, obtained a Master's degree in Embedded Systems Design, from the Advanced Learning and Research Institute (Alari), at USI University of Lugano, Switzerland in 2005, and a Master in Electronic Engineering by National Technological University (UTN) of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2001 ( My current interests are electronic microsystems and nano-robotics.
  • Angela Rocío Rodríguez Ramos: Geology student at Buenos Aires University, Business management degree, Passionate about space since I can remember, Nature lover.
  • Jorge Andersen: I'm a radio / TV sound technician and a full-stack radio producer. The Space Apps Challenge allows me to contact a creators of art, science and technology in a friendly and collaborative environment, transforming ideas into solid elements, designing future worlds. It's so exciting.
  • Karen Aguilar: as a 24 years old advanced industrial engineering student and a passionate space admiror, I found this project as the opportunity to apply all the knowledge acquired not only in my university project of solar cells done with Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, but also at my work in Ford Motor Company, hoping to help with the innovation of new technologies for the benefit of the future generations.
  • Federico Gregorio Agostinelli: Geology student at University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and Musician. I am part of the management committee of Gemipa, an association of mineral collectors in Argentina. I also make scientific divulgation at the University of Buenos Aires.

  • Mercedes Salomé Agostinelli: Geologist from University of Buenos Aires (UBA), with thesis in Mineralogy. I am part of the management committee of Gemipa, an association of mineral collectors in Argentina. I make scientific divulgation at the University of Buenos Aires. I also make jewelry, joining this trade combining it with gemology. This is my third NASA Hackathon and it keeps on getting better and better!


We believe thinking about humankind's future is crucial for our species to survive the challenges that come ahead and that through our project we contribute to a possible and plausible solution to a series of topics such as overpopulation, lack of resources, global warming and also for scientific research itself.


Getting accurate data about Moon's lava tube's interior to be able to make reliable maps which allows planification of human settlements inside the tubes.


We’ve designed an IR space sensor [2] with magnetometer (IRMAS) to map lava tubes in order to build human colonies inside them [3,6,10].

A lava tube is a type of natural cave formed when a low-viscosity lava flow develops a continuous and hard crust, which thickens and forms a roof above the still-flowing lava stream. These geophorms can be up to 14–15 metres (46–49 ft) wide and also extremely long. On the Moon, lava tubes may be as wide as 500 metres (1,600 ft) . Some lunar lava tubes(believed to have formed during basaltic lava flows) have been discovered and have been studied as possible human habitats, providing natural shielding from radiation

Applying Digital Image Processing and Machine Learning using NASA data (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter-LRO), [1] we remotely select the best landing place taking into account proximity to resources such as solid water [7], minerals, construction materials and of course the lava tubes [13].

Once our rover mission arrives to the Moon, our biomimetic microbots will create a network to get more accurate data about lava tube’s interior: we use segment measure devices, a series of microbot will hover surface of the moon and some will land in certain places working as well as beacons while other microbots will get inside the lava tubes to scan and redirect interiors data to the beacons and this late to satellite. In that way, a node net will be formed, which will scan surface and ground of the Moon accessing to information never achieved before. All this will be done in real-time processing. With that in-situ data we will be able to create reliable maps to plan the settlements.

Project Presentation:

IR Sensor Animation: Link

Lava Tube DIP Identification via VIS-IR camera: Animation and Result ( Diameter: 65m [13]. Region nearby to Marius Hill: Lat. 14.07297, Long. -56.77002).

Matlab Script:

Gist-Github Repository:

IRMAS: Infrared and Magnetic Sensor

The IR sensor [2] is based on graphene (two graphene plates with one vanadium plate in the middle that can be replaced by amorphous silicon), and due it's adjustable bands gives more detail of scanned surroundings. With magnetometry we analyze magnetic anomalies to reduce as much as possible the interference and possible error generated through remote scanning [5,8,9].


We will use a series of devices that will carry attached different sensors involved on our mission, such as IRMAS, Lidar, sonar, etc. Some of the devices will function as well as beacons receiving the signals captured by other devices that will go underground inside the lava tubes.

We believe the best technology to apply are milli/microbots [11] with electro contractible parts (or SnakeSkin robot [12]) that will allow them to travel the sometimes difficult terrain on the Moon and also rugged lava tubes interior. They will be equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and will rove Moon's surface forming a node net getting signals from the underground devices and sending it to the satellite.


-Phase Nº1: Statistics and take off. We will use NASA data in Digital Image Processing and Machine Learning to [1,4] select the best place for landing focussing on proximity to resources. Thereby, we will send the IRMAS to the Moon directing it towards the chosen landing zone.

-Phase Nº2: Landing zone adjustment. Once near the Moon, a group of biomimetic microbots will be released to the Moon which will work as beacons to scan the surface forming a node net. With this new data and its analysis in real time, we will be able to correct any possible error made on Phase Nº1 as well as be able to take a glimpse of the zone in situ and make last minute decisions about possible changes regarding topography not detected before, bad conditions, etc.

-Phase Nº3: Mapping Moon´s lava tubes. On the Moon we will use more biomimetic microbots as segment mission devices (SMD). Each device will carry different sensors such as our IRMAS plus Lidar, among others and the ones which enter lava tubes will send collected data to the beacons and from here to the NASA satellite to compile and analyze it. In this way, using Machine Learning with this new data, we will be able to make detailed maps of the lava tubes interior and plan the settlement of sustainable human colonies inside them. The SMD will also scan the surroundings to collect accurate data about useful resources for the settlement.


The technology application used on this mission can also be used on Earth to detect and analyze more deeply lava tubes which can be used for example as shelter for refugees.

As for the mission itself, we believe it has the potential to be carried out first on the Moon and afterwards on Mars, taking into account certain modifications inherent in the case.

We know the sky is not the limit, we committed ourselves to this idea and hope to see it grow bigger and stronger. We are ready to keep on innovating to reach the infinity and beyond!


- Nicolás Galiano (video edition)

- Maximiliano Monaro (audio edition)

- Ezequiel Salazar (male voice in video)


[1] NASA Mission LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter): LROC Quickmap.

[2] PhD Thesis-UTN : H. Giannetta “Studies of materials and MEMS processes for the implementation of a tunable microsensor in the infrared band”, National Technological University, Buenos Aires, Argentina. September 2017.Link.

[3] Antonello Piombo, et al, "Thermal anomaly at the Earth's surface associated with a lava tube", Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Volume 325, 2016, Pages 148-155,

[4] NASA Mission Grail. Gravity measurement , GRAIL

[5] Chappaz, L., R. Sood, H. J. Melosh, K. C. Howell, D. M. Blair, C. Milbury, and M. T. Zuber (2017), Evidence of large empty lava tubes on the Moon using GRAIL gravity, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 105–112, doi: 10.1002/2016GL071588.

[6] Kaku, T., Haruyama, J., Miyake, W., Kumamoto, A., Ishiyama, K., Nishibori, T., … Howell, K. C. (2017). Detection of intact lava tubes at Marius Hills on the Moon by SELENE (Kaguya) lunar radar sounder. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 10,155–10,161.

[7] Shuai Li, Paul G. Lucey, Ralph E. Milliken, Paul O. Hayne, Elizabeth Fisher, Jean-Pierre Williams, Dana M. Hurley, Richard C. Elphic, "Direct evidence of surface exposed water ice in the lunar polar regions", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Aug 2018, 201802345; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1802345115

[8] Michael E. Purucker, A global model of the internal magnetic field of the Moon based on Lunar Prospector magnetometer observations, Icarus, Volume 197, Issue 1, 2008,Pages 19-23, ISSN 0019-1035,

[9] Richmond, N. C., and L. L. Hood (2008), A preliminary global map of the vector lunar crustal magnetic field based on Lunar Prospector magnetometer data, J. Geophys. Res., 113, E02010, doi: 10.1029/2007JE002933.

[10] Leonardo Carrer, Christopher Gerekos, Lorenzo Bruzzone, A multi-frequency radar sounder for lava tubes detection on the Moon: Design, performance assessment and simulations, Planetary and Space Science, Volume 152, 2018, Pages 1-17,ISSN 0032-0633,

[11] Lu, H., Zhang, M., Yang, Y., Huang, Q., Fukuda, T., Wang, Z., & Shen, Y. (2018). A bioinspired multilegged soft millirobot that functions in both dry and wet conditions. Nature Communications, 9(1), 3944.

[12] Rafsanjani, A., Zhang, Y., Liu, B., Rubinstein, S. M., & Bertoldi, K. (2018). Kirigami skins make a simple soft actuator crawl. Science Robotics, 3(15), eaar7555.

[13] Haruyama, J., Hioki, K., Shirao, M., Morota, T., Hiesinger, H., van der Bogert, C. H., … Pieters, C. M. (2009). Possible lunar lava tube skylight observed by SELENE cameras. Geophysical Research Letters, 36(21), L21206.


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