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Mission: Design Housing for Deep Space

Friday, June 19, 2015

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WASHINGTON--Outside-the-box thinkers are invited to participate in a new design competition that is out of this world.

NASA and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, known as America Makes, have teamed up to launch a $2.25 million competition to design and build a 3D-printed habitat intended for deep space exploration.


What might housing look like on the moon? The new design competition combines deep space exploration, 3D printing and construction technology.

That’s right; they are seeking concepts for shelters that astronauts can build, or print, from indigenous materials—Lunar and Martian dirt—and waste materials from the spacecraft when they reach the Moon or Mars.

Multi-Phase Competition

The multi-phase 3D Printed Habitat Challenge was developed to advance the additive construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth and beyond, according to NASA.

The first phase calls on participants to develop architectural concepts.

The top 30 submissions will be judged, and prizes totaling $50,000 will be awarded at the 2015 World Maker Faire, set for Sept. 26-27, in New York.

The second phase is divided into two levels.

3D challenge

The top 30 design submissions will be judged, and $50,000 in prizes will be awarded Sept. 27.

The Structural Member Competition (level 1) focuses on the fabrication of technologies needed to manufacture structural components from either a combination of indigenous materials and recyclables, or indigenous materials alone.

The Onsite Habitat Competition (level 2) challenges competitors to fabricate full-scale habitats using indigenous materials.

Both levels open for registration Sept. 26; each carries a $1.1 million prize.

‘Raising the Bar’

“The future possibilities for 3-D printing are inspiring, and the technology is extremely important to deep space exploration,” said Sam Ortega, the Program Manager of NASA's Centennial Challenge Program.

“This challenge definitely raises the bar from what we are currently capable of, and we are excited to see what the maker community does with it.”

NASA’s Centennial Challenge Program was initiated in 2005 to directly engage the public in the process of advanced technology development.

Click here for more information, rules and registration.


Tagged categories: Architects; Building materials; Construction; Designers; NASA

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