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Space & Astronomy

ESA plans to 3D print a base on the moon

By T.K. Randall
November 7, 2014 · Comment icon 14 comments

Four astronauts could live and work in the proposed moon base. Image Credit: YouTube / ESA
The European Space Agency has outlined its concept for a habitable moon base built by an automated robot.
3D printing has come a long way in recent years and now ESA has taken its plans for the technology one step further by proposing a base on the moon created using 3D printed materials.

An unmanned shuttle would first be sent to the moon where it would deploy a special robot-operated 3D printer and an inflatable dome that would provide a scaffolding for the habitable environment in which the astronauts would live once the base is completed.
The robot would then proceed to build the base by using its 3D printing apparatus to construct a solid exoskeleton using lunar dust as the building material. These external walls would protect the habitation dome from extreme temperature fluctuations, solar radiation and meteorites.

The space agency believes that the construction would take around three months to complete and that the resulting base would be capable of housing four astronauts.



Source: CNET.com | Comments (14)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 10 years ago
yay! Go on, call it Moonbase Alpha please!! But we all know what happened to that! I'm trying to figure out how Moon dust will protect the inhabitants of the moon base from the temperature s and radition levels on the Moon? How think are these walls going to be?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Merc14 10 years ago
Interesting concept but those little rovers/plows look to be the failure point.
Comment icon #7 Posted by seeder 10 years ago
But we all know what happened to that! I'm trying to figure out how Moon dust will protect the inhabitants of the moon base from the temperature s and radition levels on the Moon? How think are these walls going to be? In a similar way like you bury yourself in sand at the beach...then dont feel the sun much, or get 'sunburned'... another word for radiation of course
Comment icon #8 Posted by bubblykiss 10 years ago
This is a great way to reinvigorate human imagination, hopes, dreams and aspirations. By showing them that drudgery work can be magically achieved by turning dirt into space bases built by elfish robots doing all the *dirty lunar work* for them.
Comment icon #9 Posted by SolarPlexus 10 years ago
Aint gonna happen.
Comment icon #10 Posted by highdesert50 10 years ago
Having a relatively safe retreat prior to the manned landing has much appeal as does sourcing the materials locally. And, as I watched the robot spiral around and up the structure, I could not help but think of the somewhat similar construction methods of the pyramids and the notion if you build it, they will come.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Hammerclaw 10 years ago
I prefer the U.F.O. moonbase.
Comment icon #12 Posted by DecoNoir 10 years ago
Oh great. They have uncovered the Monolith!
Comment icon #13 Posted by CRYSiiSx2 10 years ago
I hope they add a Taco Bell. I love Taco Bell
Comment icon #14 Posted by Merc14 10 years ago
I prefer the U.F.O. moonbase. Great uniforms!


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