Building a base of operations for humans on the moon is not a simple task, since it would involve several months of work, working in unfavorable conditions and in the absence of gravity, astronauts should stay on the moon for as long that the work lasted. However, the new 3D Printing Technologies Offer an Alternative that makes the idea of a lunar bases no longer seem so difficult to achieve.
Lunar Bases can now be built with 3D Printers
3D printing is already used on Earth, and has various applications: manufacture of prostheses, creating sculptures, obtaining replicas of archaeological, artistic montages or architectural design visualization. 3D printers allow to build three dimensional structures, and for filling it with various materials are successive layers of the object.
Now, the European Space Agency (ESA) plans to carry out an ambitious project that allows you to “print” a base of operations on the lunar surface: it would be a sort of dome walls designed to protect astronauts from radiation and micrometeorite impacts.
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Following the philosophy of sustainable construction , most of the materials used come from the same surface of the moon, thus minimizing the transport of raw materials from our planet. “The 3D printing technology has helped us to produce entire structures here on Earth”, said by Pambaguian Laurent, director of the project.
“Now let’s see if we can use them to build a lunar habitat. This technique provides a possible means to facilitate lunar settlement with logistics from Earth very small “. The ESA, which has been associated with the architectural firm of Norman Foster to carry out this project, presented as a demonstration with block weighing 1.5 tons which is manufactured using this technology. “First, it is necessary to mix the assumption of lunar material with magnesium oxide. This makes for a kind of `paper’ with which you can print,” said Enrico Dini, Monolite UK company, which has designed the printer used. ”
After applying a salt that converts the bonding material to a stone-like solid. Our current print has a construction rate of around two meters per hour, while the next generation of printers can reach 3.5 meters per hour. That would complete the construction of an entire building in a week “. The future is here. If finally the ESA conducts its project, soon we will see as a kind of robot quickly builds a shelter for astronauts who are part of the next manned mission to the moon.