New York Technology Corporation Wins NASA Mars Habitat 3D Print Challenge through Basalt Composites

Since 2014, NASA NASA has begun to try to solve the problem of long-term residence on Mars. They hosted a phased 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, an important part of the NASA Centennial Mars Challenge. NASA invites scientific experts, engineers, and university laboratories to use 3D printing to create a livable space in a Martian environment.

In May of this year, the competition entered the final stage. In the last session, the second-ranked New York architecture and technology firm AI SpaceFactory stood out with its high degree of autonomy and material research and development, winning the first place in the finals and harvesting 500,000 US dollars. bonus. In the final competition phase, the team was asked to build a one-third-sized building prototype using 3D modeling software based on early virtual modeling.

The firm’s design work “MARSH” is a cylindrical nest house that can accommodate four astronauts. The exterior of the building is covered by two shells, the first to maintain balance with the ground and the second to cope with violently fluctuating temperatures. The interior is divided into 4 floors and the garage on the ground floor is connected to the external system. On the second and third floors, there are living spaces such as kitchen, sleeping cabin and bathroom. At the top, the bright “skyroom” is used for informal entertainment and exercise. Each floor has at least one window that provides 360° panoramic views of Mars.

This innovation challenges the traditional cave-like “space-age architecture” image, with a focus on creating highly livable spaces to accommodate the needs of the Mars mission. After several years of development, AI SpaceFactory successfully built a 15-foot-tall (about 4.57-meter) “MARSHA” prototype within 30 hours at the Bradley University Learning Center.

AI SpaceFactory uses a self-operating robotic arm and uses a 3D printer to create a degradable, recyclable composite that blends basalt with biopolymers. Basalt can be excavated directly on Mars, while biopolymers are made from starch on Earth.

After undergoing NASA’s stress, smoke and impact tests, it was found to be stronger and more durable than the concrete used by competitors. When a 96-ton crawler excavator squeezed the structure from the top, only a small piece of material broke in the “MARSHA”, but the entire building barely moved.

This game is not the end of the competition. Through the data collected during the test, AI SpaceFactory decided to recycle the materials used in the manufacture of “MARSHA” to create a new design called “TERA”, which will be the first space technology ecological habitat on Earth, this month in The crowdfunding website was released on Indiegogo. AI SpaceFactory plans to use “TERA” for Airbnb leasing, giving people a closer look at the possibilities of alien life.

David Malott, CEO and founder of AI SpaceFactory, said: “We have developed these technologies for space, but they have the potential to change the way we build on Earth. By using natural biodegradable materials derived from crops, we can eliminate buildings. A lot of waste on unrecoverable concrete and restoring our planet.”