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Foster + Partners Unveil Plans for 3D-Printed Moon Base!
Posted By Lori Zimmer On February 11, 2013 @ 11:24 am In Architecture,carousel showcase,Green Building,Green Technology,Innovation,News | No Comments
Foster + Partners just announced plans to partner with the European Space Agency on an ambitious project to 3D print structures on the moon! The project will be a lunar house for four people that can withstand the threat of meteorites, gamma radiation and temperature fluctuations. Since transporting building materials to space is a challenge, the team is considering using on-site 3D printing as a solution.
Foster + Partners ‘ moon base is a landmark project for the field of 3D printing that could pave the way to lunar colonization in the future. Part of the lunar base  could be transported by rocket in a tubular module that also serves as the protected entrance to the base. The tube entrance leads into an inflatable dome that serves as a support structure and defines the shape of the base. Inside, a 3D printer operated by a robot would print a protective shell of regolith  layer by layer over the inflatable dome.
The structure designed by Foster + Partners is being tested with simulated lunar soil  at a smaller scale in a vacuum chamber, which is similar to the non-atmospheric lunar conditions. If the project is given a green light, the lunar accommodations will be based at the moon’s south pole, which receives non-stop daylight.
Along with Foster + Partners, the ESA is working with Italian space engineering firm Alta SpA, Monolite UK (for the 3D printer) and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna University.
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/foster-partners-unveil-plans-for-3d-printed-moon-base/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/foster-partners-unveil-plans-for-3d-printed-moon-base/foster_partners_lunar_base2/
 Foster + Partners: http://www.fosterandpartners.com/News/387/Default.aspx
 lunar base: http://inhabitat.com/massive-lunar-solar-power-tower-beams-energy-to-earth/
 regolith: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regolith
 simulated lunar soil: http://inhabitat.com/researchers-3d-print-moon-rocks-for-use-as-lunar-building-material/
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