NASA has unveiled five spectacular designs of how humans could live and work on other planets in buildings fashioned from 3D printers and Martian materials. NASA is in the final stage of a competition for innovators to show how they envision a habitat on Mars، Express website reported.
The 3D-Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge saw five models win a share of $100،000، with the top two designs pocketing $20،000 each.
The designs are sustainable shelters that will someday occupy the Moon، Mars or beyond by pushing citizen inventors to develop new tech that could withstand the harsh environment.
The winning design، Zorpheus، has built the whole habitat inside the body of a large lander، with Martian concrete making up the bulk of the structure.
The egg-cum-spider structure can lift itself up using six legs and move a few feet to create a series of small rooms. The runner-up AI SpaceFactory’s vertical، vase-shaped building focuses on thermal expansion and insulation but also features home comforts like a gym and play area.
Meanwhile، bronze winner Kahn-Yates' concept is poked with holes to let in natural light and includes a spiral staircase that stretches across its exterior.
As NASA presses forward with space exploration، reliable life-supporting habitats will be essential.
But setting up a society on the surface of Mars is an extraordinary challenge، with extensive limitations on transporting materials and huge differences in atmosphere and landscape.
The habitat designs had to take into account the atmosphere and elements on Mars، including micro-gravity، solar radiation and dust storms.
In Fourth place، SEArch+Apis Cor's design features two independent pressurised areas designed to maximise light and minimise radiation exposure.
Finally، Northwestern University's habitat is a dome-shaped structure built upon an inflatable vessel with all the features of home، such as a kitchen and multiple bedrooms.
Each of the designs had to have at least a thousand square feet of space، enough for four people to live for a year، as well as room for machinery and other equipment that would make it possible to live on Mars.
To be functional structures، the habitats also have to consider the thickness of walls from pressure sealing، air filtering elements and heating، according to TechCrunch.
And as if all this wasn’t enough، the habitats must self assemble autonomously، probably using robots، so that humans can occupy them as soon as they land.
Morsi Roman، program manager of the challenge، said: “We are thrilled to see the success of this diverse group of teams that have approached this competition in their own unique styles.
“They are not just designing structures، they are designing habitats that will allow our space explorers to live and work on other planets.”
The challenge begun in 2014 and is being carried out in three phases.
Phase one was the design competition and was completed in 2015; Phase two was the structural member competition and finished in 2017.
Phase three، the current stage، is the on-site habitat competition.
The teams are now moving on to an eye-watering mission: building the designs.
And by spring 2019، the teams should have a custom 3D printer that can create a 1:3 scale model of their habitat.
The final winner will bag $2 million for the real construction on Mars.