NASA – the US room agency that announced the discovery of flowing water on Mars this week – has chosen a winner in its contest to style proposals for 3D-printed housing on the Red Planet .
The Ice Property has been awarded initial area in the NASA-run 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, receiving a prize of \$25,000 (£16,500) from competitors sponsors NASA and America Makes – the country’s national additive-manufacturing innovation institute.
Entrants to the competitors have been asked to design a base for 4 astronauts by using 3D printing techniques and components indigenous to Mars.
New York studios SEArch (Room Exploration Architecture) and Clouds AO (Clouds Architecture Office) worked together on the winning notion for a frozen Mars abode.
Ice House was 1 of the handful of entries not to make use of regolith – the loose soil and rocks identified on the surface of the Red Planet – instead opting for a shell of ice “capable of safeguarding the interior habitat from radiation whilst celebrating life above ground.”
The idea proposes using Mars’ water supply, thought only to exist in the kind of ice until finally earlier this week. It features a pair of pods formed from ice and placed 1 within the other to insulate inhabitants from Mars’ inhospitable climate – which can assortment from a temperate twenty degrees celsius to minus 150 degrees celsius.
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The absorption spectrum of water could mitigate ultraviolet solar and galactic gamma radiation, while enabling light into the interior, according to the architects.
“Recognising that water is the developing block to daily life, the team employed a ‘follow the water’ approach to conceptualise, website and construct their design,” said Clouds AO and SEArch.
“Ice Home was born from the crucial to deliver light and a connection to the outside into the vocabulary of Martian architecture.”
The task team comprised eight designers – Christina Ciardullo, Kelsey Lents, Jeffrey Montes, Michael Morris and Melodie Yashar from studio SEArch, and Ostap Rudakevych, Masayuki Sono, and Yuko Sono of Clouds AO – as well as 14 specialist consultants ranging from scientists and astrophysicists to geologists and 3D-printing engineers.
The crew noticed off competitors from London firm Foster + Partners, which proposed a robot-built construction manufactured from regolith – the loose soil and rocks located on the surface of the Red Planet. Foster’s notion was named runner up from a shortlist of 30 proposals for the competitors, which obtained more than 160 entries.
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Also amid the shortlisted projects were patterns by the European Area Agency and French 3D-printing organization Wonderful, which proposed a bubble-shaped habitat constructed from iron oxide and insulated by a water-filled cavity wall.
NASA 1st announced it was developing a 3D printing factory in space in 2013, and a year later on confirmed it had printed its first object on the Worldwide Area Station “paving the way to potential long-phrase room expeditions”.
At the beginning of 2015 the American space agency uncovered its strategies to use drones to investigate Mars, helping to map the terrain for rover car expeditions.
SEArch studio has a long-term collaboration with Human Aspects division at NASA’s Johnson Room Center, carrying out both educating and analysis tasks on area exploration at Columbia University and the Pratt Institute.
Clouds AO has previously worked on concepts for a area elevator and a proposal to harness the power of comets for interplanetary transportation, whilst terrestrial projects have integrated a yoga studio with curved walls to confuse perception of space.
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