We have previusly written about The 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, NASA’s Centennial Challenges program competition to build a 3D-printed habitat for deep space exploration, including the agency’s journey to the Moon, Mars or beyond.
After 30 hours of 3D printing over four days of head-to-head competition, NASA and partner Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois, have awarded $700,000 to two teams in the final round of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge.
The top prize of $500,000 was awarded to New York-based AI. SpaceFactory. Second-place and $200,000 was awarded to Pennsylvania State University of University Park.
The two teams faced off May 1-4 at Caterpillar’s Edwards Demonstration & Learning Center in Edwards, Illinois, creating subscale shelters out of recyclables and materials that could be found on deep-space destinations, like the Moon and Mars. The size of the structures had to be a one-third scale version of their architectural designs.
Each team employed robotic construction techniques that allowed minimal human intervention. Such technologies will enable more sustainable and autonomous exploration missions.
“The final milestone of this competition is a culmination of extremely hard work by bright, inventive minds who are helping us advance the technologies we need for a sustainable human presence on the Moon, and then on Mars,”
“We celebrate their vision, dedication, and innovation in developing concepts that will not only further NASA’s deep-space goals, but also provide viable housing solutions right here on Earth.”
– Monsi Roman, program manager for NASA’s Centennial Challenges.
The habitats were constructed in 10-hour increments in front of a panel of judges. Once the printing was complete, the structures were subjected to several tests and evaluated for material mix, leakage, durability and strength.
NASA’s Centennial Challenges: 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge