NASA and its competition partner Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois, have selected the five winning teams of the design contest “Mars Habitat”. These proposals will also receive contributions in slightly different sizes for future developments.
The $2.5 million competition, now in its third phase, seeks to find the most adequate housing for future Martian residents. The challenge also hopes to uncover advanced construction technologies that may be used in sustainable housing solutions for Earth as well.
The five remaining teams, who shared $100,000 in prize money, were selected from among 18 teams competing in this latest round of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge. All were asked to create virtual models of a habitat where four astronauts could live and work for one year. The super-realistic renderings range from clustered hexagonal shells to a hat-shaped abode with curving, window-studded walls.
“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. We are excited to see their designs come to life as the competition moves forward.”
– Monsi Roman, program manager for NASA’s Centennial Challenges.
In partnership with Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois, the space agency asked for designs that 3D-printing robots could make using raw materials found on the red planet.
First place went to Team Zopherus, a three-man crew from Rogers, Arkansas.
AI. SpaceFactory of New York City took second place with its “Marsha” habitat.
Third place went to the Kahn-Yates team of Jackson, Mississippi. The team’s design shows a hat-shaped habitat dotted with windows that would let in sunlight to allow for gardening.
Northwestern University of Evanston, Illinois took fifth place with its simple dome-shaped habitat with two entrances.
In order of how much prize money they were awarded, the winning teams were:
Team Zopherus of Rogers, Arkansas – $20,957.95
AI. SpaceFactory of New York – $20,957.24
Kahn-Yates of Jackson, Mississippi – $20,622.74
SEArch+/Apis Cor of New York – $19,580.97
Northwestern University of Evanston, Illinois – $17,881.10
For the next phase of the competition, which ends next spring, NASA is inviting teams to 3D print a scale model of a habitat’s foundation. NASA will pick three winners for that phase of the competition.