space colonies

Simulating Space Colonies With 3D Printing

Architecture firm Foster + Partners Simulated Space Colonies Using 3D Printing, robotics and VR.

Renewed British architect Norman Foster and his firm created a faithful representation of space colonies and life in Mars and the moon. Designs include interiors, exteriors and transport plans that people will be able to ‘explore’ thanks to a VR display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester, England, from July 12 to 15. Once there, visitors will even steer miniature remote-control robots around a Mars-like sand pit.
Normally, in the construction industry on Earth, using robots and large-scale 3D printing in the building process is rare.“But when considering extra-planetary structures, they become an absolute necessity.” Says Irene Gallou, head of the research and development unit at Foster + Partners. “Forcing ourselves to incorporate these features into relatively small but highly complex buildings lets us develop our knowledge and project into the future.”

(Photo Gallery) – How Foster + Partners envisions being able to build Space Colonies

1.- Well, first, semi-autonomous robots begin the operation by digging a crater on the red planet.

space colonies

The picture above shows inflatable pods that will land on the moon or Mars ahead of time, acting as the base of the settlementThis system was actually used before by NASA on its Mars Pathfinder mission back in 1997.
space colonies
2.- Habitat modules, huddled in the crater, inflate and connect by airlock. International Space Station plans to test inflatable module technology next year.

Protecting us from other planets gamma radiation

space colonies

3.- Here, robot-operated 3D printers cement together loose soil and rocks to form a protective shield around the pods. This protects the base from gamma radiation, meteorite impacts and temperature fluctuations. After successful lab-tests for Regolith Additive Construction, Foster + Partners is awaiting field trials.
space colonies4.- Above, the operational Mars base upon completion. Of course, the future colony will not only be home to astronauts, but also to dozens of robots and automated vehicles.
space colonies5.- The interior laboratory module, where the four astronauts of the outpost will live and work.
space colonies
Finally, like with the Mars habitats, a rocket transports habitation pods to the moon. Once there, astronauts inflate and are ready for Regolith Additive Construction. The lunar outpost would be based near the moon’s south pole, where the moon receives almost constant sunlight.
I know all of this concepts might sound crazy for a person who does not follow NASA’s statements. If that’s the case, you might be wondering

How feasible is this project?

In fact, this idea is very accurate to reality. Back in 2016, the head of NASA spoke of plans to build a “moon village” in collaboration with Foster + Partners. So, eventually, these futuristic-looking designs will be part of actual lunar or martian missions.

Would you live in one of these?

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