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Designers unveil plans for 3D building on the Moon

The designers and architects behind the London City Hall, Wembley Stadium, and Millenium Bridge have come up with plans to make a building on the Moon using 3D printing.

The designers and architects behind the London City Hall, Wembley Stadium, and Millenium Bridge have come up with plans to make a building on the Moon using 3D printing.

 
London-based Foster and Partners revealed the designs as part of a consortium set up by the European Space Agency to examine the feasibility of 3D printing in space.
 
The plan is to send an inflatable dome on a rocket from Earth, and then cover the basic shell using regolith, the Moon's soil, as the material in robot-operated 3D printers. 
 
The technique was tested on a smaller scale using simulated regolith and 3D printers, all in a vacuum chamber to give an approximation of the lunar environment.
 
 
The result will be a four-person dwelling on the south pole of the Moon, where there is more light, with room for further expansion. The housing can protect astronauts from meteorites, gamma radiation and high temperature fluctuations.
 
It is not yet known if, or when, such proposals will be put into action, but it is likely only a matter of time and funding, as 3D printing presents a way to build structures in space without the typically prohibitive costs of launching materials and pre-built structures on rockets. NASA is also exploring use of the technology to make tools and parts on the Moon.
 
 
 
Images Credit: Foster and Partners

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