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green design, eco design, sustainable design, Foster and Partners, European Space Agency, 3d printed lunar base, moon colonization, ESA, Alta SpA, Monolite U, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

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.

+ Foster + Partners