Architecture and engineering have been evolving ever since their beginnings, but NASA is taking it to another level. The agency wants to land astronauts in Mars by 2033 and logically, a habitable environment has to be prepared beforehand. Humans have been building their shelters combining natural resources such as water, clay, fine and coarse aggregates, sand, mud etc. Since then, artificially produced materials, multiplex structural arrangements, contemporary building approaches, have been combined to serve us nothing but engineering and architectural greatness.
NASA announced the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, which was won by the team “SEArch+/Apis Cor” located in New York. The second place was awarded to Team Zoperhous from Arkansas and Connecticut Group came third. The final prize fund is estimated to be $800.000.
Mars X House of Multiple Houses
The winning project is named “Mars X House”. The team plans to use Al-powered robots to built multiple houses.
With safety and efficiency being the priorities of this project, the team is planning to use fully Martian materials for the building of the houses. As stated in the official page of SEArch: “X-House presents a pioneering habitat scaled to fit within the 4.5m x 4.5m footprint of the Level 3 Head-to-Head event of the Phase 3 competition at 1/3 scale.”
There exist many challenges about building in space. First of all, the atmospheric and climatic conditions demand hefty structures. Experts are visualising a type of structure that will provide humans to breath, move and live, just like on earth. Materials such as steel, concrete and glass, which are classically used in our terrestrial structures, can’t be exported and for this reason 3D printers, polyethylene resin and regolith will be used. To do an analogy with reinforced concrete, regolith will be reinforced with a basalt structure that will be inserted between regolith layers.