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NASA Looks to Advance 3D Printing Construction Systems for the Moon and Mars

3 Oct 2020, 14:31 UTC
NASA Looks to Advance 3D Printing Construction Systems for the Moon and Mars
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ICON illustration of a conceptual lunar base with 3D printed infrastructure, including landing pads and habitats. (Credits: ICON/SEArch+)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — The process of building landing pads, habitats, and roads on the Moon will likely look different than the common construction site on Earth. Excavation robots, for one, will need to be lightweight yet capable of digging in reduced gravity. A large-scale construction system could be autonomous and equipped to work without astronauts’ help.

As part of the Artemis program, NASA has a concept for the core surface elements needed to establish a sustained presence on the Moon, which emphasizes mobility to allow astronauts to explore more and conduct more science. NASA is considering putting in place a lunar terrain vehicle, habitable mobility platform or lunar RV, and surface habitat on the Moon by the end of the decade.

The agency is investing in advanced manufacturing – one of five industries of the future to enable space exploration and improve life on Earth – including technologies that could find and use available resources on the Moon and Mars to build out future infrastructure.

Today, NASA is working with ICON, a construction technologies company based in Austin, Texas, ...

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