According to Monsi Roman, program manager for NASA’s Centennial Challenges and Lex Akers, dean of Bradley’s Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology,”The final milestone of this competition is a culmination of extremely hard work by bright, inventive minds who are helping us advance the technologies we need for a sustainable human presence on the Moon, and then on Mars. We celebrate their vision, dedication, and innovation in developing concepts that will not only further NASA’s deep-space goals, but also provide viable housing solutions right here on Earth.
It is an impressive achievement for these two teams to demonstrate this disruptive and terrific 3D-printing technology at such a large scale. By teaming up with NASA and Caterpillar, we are proud to bring these teams together in an environment where they can innovate, create and challenge our vision of what’s possible. Congratulations to both teams for their accomplishments.”
According to NASA,” The 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge will culminate with a head-to-head subscale structure print May 1-4, 2019, and the awarding of an $800,000 prize purse. Media and the public will be invited to attend the event in Peoria, Illinois. Eleven team entries were scored and awarded points based on architectural layout, programming, efficient use of interior space, and the 3D-printing scalability and constructability of the habitat. Teams also prepared short videos providing insight into their designs as well as miniature 3D-printed models that came apart to showcase the interior design. Points were also awarded for aesthetic representation and realism. After evaluation by a panel of judges, NASA and challenge partner Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois, awarded the following teams–
SEArch+/Apis Cor – New York – $33,954.11 Zopherus – Rogers, Arkansas – $33,422.01 Mars Incubator – New Haven, Connecticut – $32,623.88. Top Three Teams Share $100,000 Prize in Complete Virtual Construction Level of 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge”.
According to the comments they have some suggestions and worries about it, “I appreciate the focus on radiation protection for this habitat. It is often overlooked. I like this design the most so far. I think you could add a completely sealed basement/bunker survival cell to the lower section that sits underground, just in case. The concept is great, but the way it’s constructed would seem like it’s exposed to a lot of martian dust. How are they going to print that over 50 days without getting it full of dust? By the end it has finished printing, the inside will be a sand castle. Who will put pipes and knobs or controls in these structures plus how will you move the 3d printers to the red planet? Much better to go underground, boring equipment is already tried an tested, protection from the elements and temperature regulation will be much easier and it wouldn’t need many materials to seal it off from the outside. Brilliant design, but total fantasy. This couldn’t be built, with today’s technology, right here on Earth, with a full crew of human technicians to correct the inevitable bugs, how could this possibly work on Mars? And all the materials manufactured from Martian dirt”.
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