A 3D printed base on the Moon, an ambitious project, that the European Space Agency and architectural firm Foster + Partners are now working on.
Images © ESA/Foster + Partners
In the 3D Printed Base on the Moon project, the lunar soil structure will provide both radiation and temperature insulation, in the lightweight pressurized inflatable structure that will be the living environment for the first human Moon settlers.
According to ESA:
“3D printing offers a potential means of facilitating lunar settlement with reduced logistics from Earth.”
The base’s design was guided in turn by the properties of 3D-printed lunar soil, with a 1.5 tonne building block produced as a demonstration.
“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.”
“As a practice, we are used to designing for extreme climates on Earth and exploiting the environmental benefits of using local, sustainable materials,” remarked Xavier De Kestelier of Foster + Partners Specialist Modelling Group. “Our lunar habitation follows a similar logic.”