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Friday July 19, 2024

Find out what is Nasa planning about building houses on moon

Nasa already collaborating with institutions, and private companies to build doors, tiles and furniture

By Web Desk
October 06, 2023
An illustration of Nasa astronauts at the lunar South Pole. — Nasa
An illustration of Nasa astronauts at the lunar South Pole. — Nasa

After the intensifying efforts to colonise the moon and Mars, Nasa has handed a contract to an Austin-based construction company that would build houses on the Earth's natural satellite by 2024, which would be open for civilians as well.

The contract worth $60 million was awarded to ICON, which has been building houses since 2018 using its 3D printing technology. It will now put its all endeavours to turn the long-term solar colonisation plan into reality.

For that purpose, the 3D printer would be blasted off to the moon. The material for the construction would be obtained from the hosting moon.

Nasa has already been collaborating with several institutions and private companies to build other structures of the house such as doors, tiles and furniture.

It is a component of a long-term plan where the astronauts would be setting foot on Mars and building a residence there.

Currently, things are in the very early stages and this is subject to change over the coming years. Moreover, the US space agency has not yet revealed the cost for a civilian who wishes to stay on the moon.

The company ICON employs 3D printing for construction. The technology lays out a mixture of cement, sand and water as filament.

Every component of a home is printed one by one and then slotted together. According to reports, the printer can build properties as early as 48 hours.

The Austin-based company has been working since 2018 and till now, it has built hundreds of residences.

The attempt became popular and gained traction as it could easily form a house and according to developers, potentially end the housing crisis in the US.

Raymond Clinton deputy director of the science and technology office at Nasa's Marshall Space Flight Center, told The New York Times that he does not see average Americans living on the lunar surface in his lifetime, but is hopefully for future generations. "I wish I would be around to see it."

He said: "When we talk about a sustainable human presence, to me, that means that you have a lunar settlement and you have people living and working on the moon continuously. What that could be is only up to the imagination of entrepreneurs."

The company stated that for building a house on the moon, the structure must be resistant to thermal radiation and micrometeorites.

ICON co-founder and CEO, Jason Ballard, said: "To change the space exploration paradigm from there and back again to there to stay, we’re going to need robust, resilient, and broadly capable systems that can use the local resources of the Moon and other planetary bodies."

The planning is underway to test ICON’s printer in Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Center in February to see how it handles the vacuum conditions and radiation levels of space.