top of page

A special mesh structure can be used to create a permanent base on the Moon from raw materials available on the celestial body, according to a study by Paulinyi & Partners architecture firm. The company's experts have examined the conditions prevailing on the Moon and are proposing architectural solutions that could be used to create space colonies known only from science fiction movies in the future. They are resistant to extreme temperature fluctuations and radiation, and with their floor area of up to 14,000 square meters, they can provide enough living space for a larger mission, at an average distance of 384,400 kilometers from Earth.

Paulinyi & Partners was able to present its study at the world's most prestigious space event, the International Astronautical Congress in Paris. Based on their research, the architectural team designed a modular, expandable structure, built up from a grid of uniform elements, which can be used to house life support systems, living quarters and even a self-sufficient potato plantation, as seen in the sci-fi film The Martian.

During the design, the experts of Paulinyi & Partners had to take into account the specific thermal and environmental conditions of the Moon, as well as logistical and construction challenges. The lunar base must be able to withstand temperature fluctuations between -170°C at night and +110°C during the day, and the structure must also retain a radiation shield of more than 2 metres in thickness. The Moon has no atmosphere, so the management of the pressure difference between the exterior and interior of the building required further calculations from the specialists.

"Fortunately, the Moon is helping our project, as the lower gravity means that the individual elements and therefore the overall structure can carry more weight. Even so, the design was a real challenge, as no one had ever built on another celestial body before, so there is no concrete experience available in this regard. That is why we have made sure that we only think in terms of using science-based enabling technologies – said Roland Németh, architect of Paulinyi & Partners, co-author of the study. – For example, it would be extremely expensive and complicated to bring construction materials from Earth to the site, which is why we decided to develop a solution for using the raw materials found there."

According to the plans, the supporting rods and central elements that make up the structure would be manufactured on the Moon, using the regolith, or lunar rock, that covers the surface. By melting and moulding the rock, a wide variety of elements can be easily fabricated to form the dome covering the entire base, which would protect the facility from meteorites as well as radiation. Thanks to its unique design, the structure can be easily expanded to create an area of up to 14 000 square metres, which, according to the models, could house a community of up to 150 people on the Moon.

Our study is a significant step towards the design of space bases on extraterrestrial bodies, where astronauts can live in ideal conditions in the future – said Dr. Gergely Paulinyi Founding Partner, Chairman and CEO of Paulinyi & Partners. – It is a great honour for us to present our plans in front of the most prominent representatives of the industry at such a significant event. We hope that when the technology is available, the first lunar base can be built based on our plans."

In recent years, Paulinyi & Partners has been responsible for a number of high-profile projects in Hungary and internationally. The company designs special buildings with an innovative approach and the latest technologies, their most recent projects include the Budapest One office building and Etele Plaza.

DODO, a provider of data-driven logistics solutions, and Rossmann, a drugstore chain with a popular webshop, have launched a unique domestic pilot project for the drone delivery of home-ordered products. In the first phase of the trial, they are testing how quickly they can fulfil orders using drones - while guaranteeing safe delivery conditions. To this end, a test flight was carried out as a first step, and the time required to place the package on the drone and to take off and land was also assessed.

The first test flight in preparation for the delivery of home deliveries started from the Rossmann store in the Savoya Park shopping centre in District XI, with the destination in the suburban part of District III. The route was chosen to ensure that the drone flight would cover a relatively long distance and a varied geographical terrain, in preparation for the diversity of future deliveries by air.

The launch point and the delivery destination are 15 kilometers apart, but the drone flew over a longer distance as it flew part of the way over the Danube.

During the first test flight, the drone did not yet deliver a parcel, as the primary objective was to measure the time required for each phase of the work.

Particular attention was paid to creating safe conditions for delivery by air, with simulating the lifting of a parcel into the air. The route took a total of 14 minutes to fly, with an average altitude of between 20 and 50 metres and an average speed of 50 kilometres per hour, but the drone's flight speed is expected to be regulated by law in the future.

The simulation was performed with accurate results since the weight of the potentially delivered package does not significantly affect the flight speed of the drone. The test flight was carried out with the appropriate regulatory approvals. The use of unmanned aircraft and the transport of package by such means is subject to strict regulations at both national and EU level. Due to the nature of the activity and the take-off weight, it is a special category of operation and therefore requires a special operating licence.

For DODO, smart logistics and innovation go hand in hand. With our own data-driven platform, we have become experts in urban last-mile delivery solutions over the last few years, but our development doesn’t stop there. We are constantly looking for new ways to shorten delivery times and reduce environmental impact. We see drone delivery as the next major step in the evolution of home delivery solutions. I am particularly pleased that we can work with an open-minded and goal-oriented partner like Rossmann in this development. I am confident that after the current test flight we are ready to deliver actual shipments by drone as soon as legislation permits” - said Dr. Károly Sáfár, DODO's representative in Hungary.

"Rossmann is Hungary's most dynamically growing drugstore-perfumery chain. For years, our customers have been able to easily order the products offered by our webshop online. It is extremely important for us to meet consumer needs at the highest possible level and to always be at the forefront of current trends and developments. I believe that drone home delivery could be one of the key solutions of the future in the field of e-commerce and in serving customer expectations, and DODO is the right partner to help us achieve this" - added Ádám Fürjes, Online Marketing Group Manager of Rossmann Hungary Ltd.

"Since 2017, we've been involved in private and industrial drone photography at a high level. Thanks to the wide range of applications for drones, we have also opened up to industrial services, a huge and fast-growing market. Our services have already proven themselves in numerous cases in construction and manufacturing companies, in the survey and scanning of factories, warehouses, plants, sites, logistics centres, solar panel installations, where we have helped to improve efficiency not only by documenting but also by detecting possible errors. It is a great pleasure for us to participate in such a unique initiative in Hungary, which could be the future of the entire commercial industry" - said Dominik Mák, CEO of Drónpilótád, the company involved in the drone test flight.

DODO, in collaboration with Rossmann, will continue the development of the drone home delivery in order to evaluate the results of the first tests, and as a next phase of the pilot project, both companies aspire to make another test flight, during which the drone will deliver a parcel between the start point and the destination. DODO has always been committed to sustainability by reducing the ecological footprint of its deliveries, and the implementation of drone delivery would be an important step forward in this area. With this way it'll be possible to avoid traffic jams and other factors that increase the environmental impact of deliveries due to road conditions. The smart logistics company is also present in the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Slovakia with its AI-based courier services, so the lessons learned from the pilot drone flight in Hungary could be applied in these countries in the future.

From its UK origins in 2014, the concept of ‘Veganuary’, a month-long initiative promoting the vegan diet, has continued to garner interest amongst the general population. In fact, Emirates has noted a 154% increase in vegan meals served onboard between 2021 and 2022, with over 280,000 plant-based meals consumed in the past year.

Currently Emirates offers more than 180 recipes catering to vegan passengers or those looking for a healthy meal onboard, and has been serving vegan meals since the 1990’s. Initially, vegan requirements were focused on specific routes such as Addis Ababa where vegan meals are required during certain times of the year by those practising the Ethiopian Orthodox faith, or across the Indian subcontinent where multiple faiths encourage a plant-based diet. Over recent years however, vegan dishes have been rapidly gaining popularity on US, Australian, some European and UK routes, with Emirates noting a sizeable increase in interest in vegan dishes over the last decade. Routes showing recent increasing interest in vegan meals include Beirut, Cairo, and Taiwan.

Current vegan meal favourites in Economy Class include a creamy spinach and avocado mousseline, with marinated tofu, blanched snow peas, radish, asparagus, pomegranate seeds, courgette ribbon and sriracha oil; multicoloured quinoa with succulent caramelised pear and celeriac purée, roasted cauliflower, glazed carrots, sautéed kale and lovage pesto; and the hearty flavours of barley risotto with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, buttered chestnuts, blanched broccolini and toasted pumpkin seeds.

A brand-new gourmet vegan menu was also introduced in 2022 to First and Business Class, including chef-curated dishes like pan-roasted king oyster mushrooms, jackfruit biryani, sliced kohlrabi and burnt orange, chocolate truffle cake with hazelnut, pistachio and gold leaf, and green grape tart with candied rose petals, vanilla custard and berry compote glistening with yuzu pearls. Notably, over 195,000 vegan desserts were served in 2022 across all classes of travel, including tempting choices such as a dark chocolate custard cake balanced by fresh, juicy strawberries, zesty lemon tart lightly laced with coconut cream and rich chocolate tofu cheesecake complemented by a sweet strawberry compote.

Vegan options are available to order and pre-order onboard, as well as in Emirates Lounges. Customers can request vegan meals on all Emirates flights and across all classes of travel up to 24 hours before departure. However, on high-demand routes, plant-based meals are also provided as part of the main menu options.

Emirates investment into vegan cuisine

Already consistently rated as the best airline for vegan travellers by many dedicated website polls including VegNews, Emirates invested into developing a new First and Business Class vegan menu in 2022 to rival acclaimed restaurants. It spent a year in development in Emirates Flight Catering, an expansive facility based at Dubai International airport, which is home to 11,000 employees and serves up to 225,000 meals daily, the largest flight catering facility in the world with international chefs of 69 different nationalities. A panel of highly skilled and experienced Emirates Flight Catering chefs worked closely with nutritionists to identify ingredients from existing popular dishes, which can be adapted to a vegan offering without compromising on flavour. They also focused on fusing flavours and ingredients from around the world to create a menu that will appeal to all passengers across the network, not just vegan customers. The menu was the focus of multiple presentations and tastings, featuring contributions from diverse cuisine specialists like Chinese, Indian and Arabic speciality chefs, to create a wide range of flavours and textures. The tasting panels included both vegan and non-vegan chefs and team-members to ensure an inclusive approach.

The importance of high-quality healthy ingredients

The benefits of plant-powered choices are of increasing interest to health-conscious customers who may not define themselves as vegan but will occasionally choose lighter choices to complement their lifestyle. Alternative products used onboard Emirates include items like artisan vegan cheese, chickpea flour instead of white flour, because chickpea flour is gluten-free and naturally aerates dishes like crepes and omelettes to an irresistible fluffy texture. Coconut or vegetable-based cream is used instead of full fat dairy cream, coconut butter or margarine instead of dairy butter, and coconut and flaxseed oil are used as healthier alternatives to vegetable oil, with the bonus of infusing additional flavour to dishes and a high smoke point. The dishes also incorporate a range of superfoods including rich-in-antioxidant black and white quinoa seeds, which help with cholesterol and blood sugar levels, lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease. The new vegan menu in First and Business Class features unique koftas, made with plant-based products from the world-renowned Beyond meat company. Vegan desserts have been created using organic dark chocolate with 60% raw cocoa ingredients, sourced from the Dominican Republic.

Vegan options onboard Emirates are rich in greens, fruits, and vegetables, sourced from several UAE-based suppliers including fresh locally-grown kale and lettuce from Bustanica. Bustanica is the world’s largest hydroponic vertical farm, a US$40 million joint venture investment through Emirates Flight Catering. The Bustanica produce is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals and First and Business Class passengers can enjoy farm fresh leafy greens in some dishes, including lettuces, arugula, mixed salad greens, and spinach.

Maximising the flavours of vegan cuisine

The Emirates team of award-winning chefs ensure vegetable flavours are maximised in dishes through clever use of textures and infusions to conjure the essential umami effect. Jackfruit, a fibrous tree fruit from southwest India, is used as a focal point in some of the vegan dishes as it cooks out with a meaty texture. Kohlrabi, a Northern European cross between cabbage and a turnip, has a mild taste that absorbs the flavours its marinated in or cooked with - a very effective addition to vegan cuisine. Other core ingredients providing a moreish meal include the inimitable tofu, cauliflower steak and varieties of nuts and legumes. With an emphasis on freshness, vibrancy of taste and satiety, Emirates’ vegan dishes showcase a tempting collection of colourful and healthy choices including heirloom cherry tomato tofu with edamame and roasted sesame, thyme scented mushroom ragout, fresh Hass avocado and mango salad timbale, or kale and cranberry salad served on a bed of grilled sweet potato. Ensuring that the tasty and healthy dishes are also edible to the eye, vegan meals are delicately garnished with farm-fresh herbs, berries, and colourful jus,’ while several of the new vegan desserts are adorned with thin sheets of genuine gold leaf.

bottom of page