NASA has announced the launch of a 2.25 million dollars competition which is aimed at encouraging innovation as the objective of the project is to create and design a 3D printed habitat which could be delivered to space for deep space exploration.
It is a competition with multiple phases that is part NASA’s Centennial Challenges program, which they call the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge.
“The future possibilities for 3-D printing are inspiring, and the technology is extremely important to deep space exploration,” explains Centennial Challenges program manager Sam Ortega. “This challenge definitely raises the bar from what we are currently capable of, and we are excited to see what the maker community does with it.”
Phase one follows the development of architectural concepts, which can harness the power of the 3D printing technology. Phase two is divided into two parts: The first part is mainly based on technological fabrication and phase two focuses on the fabrication of the full-scale habitats which can employ the technological fabrication developed in the previous stages.
“America Makes is honored to be a partner in this potentially revolutionary competition,” comments Ralph Resnick, who is the founding director of America Makes. “We believe that 3D printing/Additive Manufacturing has the power to fundamentally change the way people approach design and construction for habitats, both on earth and off, and we are excitedly awaiting submissions from all types of competitors.”
Finally, Resnick goes on to say, “We believe that 3D printing/additive manufacturing has the power to fundamentally change the way people approach design and construction for habitats, both on Earth and off,” hoping that these technologies will be used to build more affordable housing in Earth-bound remote locations.