The top Three of NASA’s 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Contest
Could future Mars astronauts live in places like that? Possibly.
NASA awarded the three winners of the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge Design Competition on Sept. 27. In the first stage the participants had to develop architectural concepts to imagine what habitats on Mars might look like using 3D printing and in-situ resources.
The first prize went to Team Space Exploration Architecture and Clouds Architecture Office for the “Mars Ice House” design, which looks like a translucent pyramid and “in which the mind and body will not just survive, but thrive”. It would be built of Martian ice and serve as a radiation shield, protecting the lander habitat and gardens inside it.
Team Gamma got the second place for its distributed functionality of three inflatable modules to find a suitable location and a protective shield around it, which the habitats would be supported by.
The third place, LavaHive, is a modular design using a proposed novel ‘lava-casting’ construction technique as well as utilizing recycled spacecraft materials and structures.
Teams were judged on many factors, including architectural concept, design approach, habitability, innovation, functionality, Mars site selection and 3D print constructability. The 30 highest-scoring entries with descriptions are here.