NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge Won By AI SpaceFactory
NASA has issued a 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge and invited all comers to submit their designs.
The competition was won by
AI SpaceFactory, which describes itself as a "multi-planetary architectural and technology agency building for Earth and space". Sounds about right.
Today, AI SpaceFactory was awarded $500,000 by NASA for the successful construction of our Mars habitat MARSHA. The 15-foot tall prototype was 3D printed during the final phase of NASA’s 3D Printed Habitat Challenge and included three robotically-placed windows.
AI SpaceFactory was announced the 1st place winner out of over 60 challengers. We were lauded for the automation of our print – completed with nearly no human assistance in 30 hours – as well as our innovative biopolymer basalt composite, a biodegradable and recyclable material derived from natural materials found on Mars. After withstanding NASA’s pressure, smoke, and impact testing, this material was found to be stronger and more durable than its concrete competitors.
“It’s light, and it’s strong, like an airplane. That’s going to be very important for these types of habitats,” said Lex Akers, Dean of the Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology at Bradley University.
In his 1951 novel
The Moon is Hell, John W. Campbell wrote about marooned members of the second lunar expedition surviving by manufacturing solar cells using lunar materials.
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