NASA plans to send the first inhabited mission on the red planet Mars by 2035. But how the astronauts will be living there?
To answer this question, NASA agency launched the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge on May 2015. The goal for the agency is to figure out a way to create a habitat relying on 3D printing technologies and using local resources and recycled materials.
The participants to the contest were asked to design a living space for a set of four hypothetical astronauts. The 1000 square-feet (92 m²) house should contain everything needed to live comfortably (cooking areas, bathrooms, and sleeping quarters) and must be adapted to the different astronauts’ professions (geologist, biologist or engineer). This habitat may be manufactured directly on the planet providing the least amount of materials from Earth.
On 10 September 2015, NASA announced the top 30 finalists for the first phase of the 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Challenge – Design Competition. The top 30 submissions will be judged on September 26 and 27 and the winners will be announced during the 2015 World Maker Faire in New York. This last selection focuses on the fabrication needed to manufacture structural components with 3Dprinting technologies and from a combination of indigenous materials and recyclables.
For now, here are some examples of Martian habitat imagined for the project:
For more information on each project, NASA created the website 3dpchallenge.