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NASA’s 3D Printed Habitat Challenge Enters Second Phase

NASA has just launched Phase 2 of the three-part 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, that is focused on finding new ways to build houses for space explorers. A prize money of $ 1.1 Million is offered for the winning ideas.

With winners of the first phase announced, the Phase 2 of NASA’s competition focuses on the material technologies required to 3D print structural components for housing in space. These include a combination of indigenous materials and recyclables or indigenous materials alone that will be used by NASA to construct shelters for future explorers on Mars. Alternatively, theses same materials could be used to create affordable housing on Earth, where access to conventional building materials and methods is limited.

“Shelter is an obvious necessity as we prepare to explore worlds beyond our home planet, but space and weight aboard our vehicles are precious, and taken by the many other resources we will need for survival,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. “That’s why we are seeking the technology to reuse the materials we will already be carrying, and combine them with what is already available at our destination, which is, in this case, soil. We recycle here on Earth – why not on Mars?”

“Innovation, collaboration and experiential learning, three of Bradley University’s core values, are at the heart of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge with NASA and Caterpillar,” said Bradley University President Gary Roberts. “The challenge provides an unparalleled opportunity for students and faculty to network, create relationships with mentors and explore new ideas as they partner in creating solutions for our world and beyond.”

For the second phase of the competition, NASA has partnered with Bradley University and sponsors Caterpillar, Bechtel and Brick & Mortar Ventures. Registration is now open until January 31, 2017.