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3D-Printed House For The Moon

London-based architects Foster + Partners has unveiled plans to join forces with European Space Agency (ESA) to build 3D-printed structures on the moon.

The project will consist a lunar house for four people, which can withstand meteorites, gamma radiation and high temperature fluctuations.

Lunar soil, known as “regolith”, would be used a building material—instead of transporting material to the moon.

The base would be transported by space rocket in a tubular module; one of its ends would be able to inflate, to become a dome—as a structure for construction.

Layers of regolith would be built over the dome by a robot-operated 3D printer, to create a protective shell.

To ensure strength in the structure, the shell would be made of hollow closed-cellular structures.

The planned lunar habitation would be at the moon’s south pole, for perpetual sunlight.

Currently, Foster + Partners is testing the structure at a smaller scale, with simulated lunar soil in a vacuum chamber—to echo lunar conditions.

With current technologies allowing entire buildings to be built using 3D printing, the idea of living on the moon seems more realistic.

[via Foster + Partners and ESA]
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