By Deirdre Tynan • 12 August 2021 • 10:26
An American company lined-up to design 3D printed habitat for NASA’s missions to Mars has released an amazing video of its 3D printing on a construction-scale.
ICON, developer of advanced construction technologies including robotics, software, and building materials, announced it has been awarded a subcontract through Jacobs supporting NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate as part of NASA’s The Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA) to deliver a 3D-printed habitat, known as Mars Dune Alpha, at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre.
ICON’s next-gen Vulcan construction system will complete a 1,700 square-foot structure, designed by world-renowned architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, that will simulate a realistic Mars habitat to support long-duration, exploration-class space missions.
CHAPEA, is a sequence of three one-year Mars surface mission simulations at the NASA Johnson Space Centre in Houston. The analogue missions will provide valuable insights and information to assess NASA’s space food system, as well as physical and behavioural health and performance outcomes for future space missions. NASA will use research from the Mars Dune Alpha simulations to inform risk and resource trades to support crew health and performance for future missions to Mars when astronauts would live and work on the Red planet for long periods of time.
This is the highest-fidelity simulated habitat ever constructed by humans,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO, ICON. “Mars Dune Alpha is intended to serve a very specific purpose–to prepare humans to live on another planet. We wanted to develop the most faithful analog possible to aid in humanity’s dream to expand into the stars. 3D printing the habitat has further illustrated to us that construction-scale 3D printing is an essential part of humanity’s toolkit on Earth and to go to the Moon and Mars to stay.”
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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