NASA Offers $2.25M Prize for Designing and Building a 3D-Printed Space Habitat

By Avaneesh Pandey
International Business Times, May 18, 2015

InternationalBusinessTimes_NASA_Mars-habitat(Image: Artist’s concept of living quarters on Mars. Courtesy of NASA)

In Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel “Red Mars,” the first human colonists to arrive on the red planet use bricks made of indigenous materials to construct their habitats, presenting a solution to what has, in recent years, become an intractable problem insofar as establishing extraterrestrial colonies is concerned. With recent advances in 3D-printing, the idea of using technology to utilize resources available on site as building material has shifted from the realm of science fiction to one that is being actively debated by international space agencies, including NASA.

“Shelter is among the most basic and crucial human needs, but packing enough materials and equipment to build a habitat on a distant planet would take up valuable cargo space that could be used for other life-sustaining provisions,” NASA said, in a statement released over the weekend, announcing the launch of a $2.25 million competition to design and build a 3D-printed habitat for space exploration. Read more…

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