In years past, I have given students the option to either do a VERY lengthy study guide packet and take home essay test on their own, or create a scale model, space colony, that addresses the variables they research in this packet. I generally have allowed students to work in small groups of 2-4 on this project (It's a big under taking!), and I require that the entire model be made from at least 50% recycled materials!
Most students choose to do this, and I have had VERY impressive colonies built over the years. I generally have this document setup as template for students to work in using Google Docs or Classroom, and leave them feedback within that document. There is also the final rubric I created for the project, available for download here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Astronomy-Unit-Assessment-Project-Build-a-Space-Colony-Rubric-2653053.