Foster + Partners architectural design firm and the European Space Agency are taking a different approach to building on the moon than previous collaborators – why bring the building materials with you when you can make them there? Using advanced 3D printing technology and building at a rate of 2 meters per hour, the team has used fabricated lunar soil material to build igloo like structures they believe could allow moon inhabitance in years to come.
“by devising a weight-bearing ‘catenary’ dome design with a cellular structured wall to shield against micro-meteoroids and space radiation, foster + partners incorporate a pressurised inflatable to shelter astronauts. the hollow closed-cell structure – reminiscent of bird bones – provides a good combination of strength and weight. as a demonstration, 1.5 tonne building block was produced with a D-shape printer which draws material reference from 3D-printed lunar soil.”
One question though…what lunar building codes will we need to add to our bidding software? I guess we’ll find out.