Archinect - News 2015-12-01T13:20:06-05:00 NASA launches competition for structures built in situ using Martian resources Nicholas Korody 2015-10-14T16:45:00-04:00 >2015-10-15T13:05:49-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="236" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Living off the land is different when the land is 140 million miles away, so NASA is looking for innovative ideas to use in situ (in place) Martian resources to help establish a human presence on the Red Planet.</p></em><br /><br /><p><img title="" alt="" src=""><br><br>After NASA announced strong evidence of the presence of liquid water on Mars, efforts to bring Earthlings to the red planet seems to be picking up steam. Elon Musk is talking about <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CB4QFjAAahUKEwjYhJLc2MLIAhUBooAKHYl2Ce0&amp;;usg=AFQjCNGFy-x_Svv3J3ATG8KGlVCtTTHoLQ&amp;sig2=1QvOiyySIU_Tuih-c96DZw" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">nuking its poles</a> and design competitions, like the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">3-D Printed Habitat Challenge</a>, are increasingly looking at extraterrestrial design, garnering responses by such luminary architectural forces as &nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Foster + Partners</a>.<br><br>Now, NASA has launched a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">competition</a> calling for innovative Martian structures to be built in situ with locally-available resources.<br><br><img title="" alt="" src=""><br><br>Mars is 141 million miles away, which means even an extra carry-on will cost you. So any type trip to the planet will greatly benefit from using local materials to set up camp. NASA estimates that for every kilogram of native materials used, you save 11 kg of propellant and spacecraft mass needed for launching to Low Earth Orbit.</p><p>According to the competition website: "One could use surface-based materials such as regolith or basalt to produce structural elements tha...</p> Foster + Partners works with European Space Agency to 3D print structures on the moon Archinect 2013-01-31T13:07:00-05:00 >2013-02-04T20:12:35-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Foster + Partners is part of a consortium set up by the ESA to explore the possibilities of 3D printing to construct lunar habitations. Addressing the challenges of transporting materials to the moon, the study is investigating the use of lunar soil, known as regolith, as building matter.</p></em><br /><br /><p> The practice has designed a lunar base to house four people, which can offer protection from meteorites, gamma radiation and high temperature fluctuations. The base is first unfolded from a tubular module that can be transported by space rocket. An inflatable dome then extends from one end of this cylinder to provide a support structure for construction. Layers of regolith are then built up over the dome by a robot-operated 3D printer to create a protective shell.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> To ensure strength while keeping the amount of binding &ldquo;ink&rdquo; to a minimum, the shell is made up of a hollow closed cellular structure similar to foam. The geometry of the structure was designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with consortium partners &ndash; it is groundbreaking in demonstrating the potential of 3D printing to create structures that are close to natural biological systems.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Simulated lunar soil has been used to create a 1.5 tonne mockup and 3D printing tests have been undertaken at a smaller sca...</p>