Using 3D printing technology to build a lunar base
Three-dimensional printing is growing rampantly and the European Space Agency (ESA) has decided to utilize the up-and-coming technology to build a base on the moon using lunar soil.
ESA is partnering with industrial partners, including architects Foster + Partners, to see if the idea of building a lunar habitat on the moon is a feasible one.
Foster + Partners created a dome with a cellular structured wall that could help to shield inhabitants frommeteoroids and space radiation during a simulated project.
“3D printing offers a potential means of facilitating lunar settlement with reduced logistics from Earth,” Scott Hovland of ESA’s human spaceflight team, said in a statement. “The new possibilities this work opens up can then be considered by international space agencies as part of the current development of a common exploration strategy.”
The architecture firm said they are used to designing structures that handle extreme climates on Earth, and using sustainable, local materials to help do so. This same principal could be used for a future lunar base.
Building a base on the moon, using lunar soil as the building blocks, makes the task of getting a spacecraft off the Earth less burdensome, because they would not need to carry as much weight.
Other space agencies are looking into using soil from other planetary bodies to help shed a little lift-off weight for future missions. RedOrbit has previously reported that NASA is even looking into whether regolith would be able to help create a heat shield for spacecraft that would re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. This project would see that a spacecraft could leave Earth without a heat shield, and then would assemble one out of lunar soil, or even Martian soil, before returning home with samples.
Foster + Partners is an architectural firm based in London. The practice is led by its founder and Chairman, Norman Foster, and has constructed many high-profile glass-and-steel buildings.
Established by Norman Foster as Foster Associates in 1967 shortly after leaving Team 4, the firm was renamed in the 1990s to more accurately reflect the influence of the other lead architects.
Foster gained an internship at a local architect’s office before submitting a portfolio and winning a place at the University of ManchesterSchool of Architecture. He subsequently won a scholarship to study at the Yale School of Architecture in the United States of America.
foster and partners run in the top tier..the founder did time at yale..
so they are designing bases for a place that they dont go to? would that be a worthwhile venture?.. governments will pay for this? yes they will..
“a spacecraft could leave Earth without a heat shield, and then would assemble one out of lunar soil, or even Martian soil, before returning home with samples.”
once upon a time in a faraway land..