digest | Life on Mars: building habitats for humanity

Spectacular with 3D printed realism.
November 11, 2000




NASA shows off finalists in competition to design 3D printed habitat for Mars


AI SpaceFactory’s habitat is built from a material composed of a mixture of basalt fibre extracted from Martian rock, and renewable bioplastic derived from plants

Top 5 Teams Win a Share of $100,000 in Virtual Modeling Stage of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Competition


competition: 3D Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge
part of: the Centennial Challenges
presented: by NASA
division: Space Technology Mission Directorate
sponsor: Bradley Univ.

— the story –

NASA and partner Bradley Univ.  have selected the top 5 teams to share a $100,000 prize in the latest stage of the agency’s 3D Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge competition. Winning teams successfully created digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of a house on Mars using specialized software tools.

The teams earned prize money based on scores assigned by a panel of subject matter experts from NASA, colleges and industrial experts. Judges evaluated projects submitted from 18 teams — from all over the globe — and chose these 5 teams below.

As NASA advances deep space exploration, reliable life-supporting habitats will be essential. But creating a structure on the surface of Mars is an extraordinary challenge considering the extensive limits on transporting materials and the differences in atmosphere and landscape. The 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge aims to further the progression of sustainable shelters that will someday occupy the Moon, Mars or beyond by pushing citizen inventors to develop new technologies capable of additively manufacturing a habitat using indigenous resources with, or without, recyclable materials.

on the web | pages

NASA: the Centennial Challenges | home
NASA: the Centennial Challenges | the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge

NASA: Centennial Challenges Program




— quote —

We’re thrilled to see this diverse group of teams. They crafted this competition in their own unique styles. They’re not just designing structures — they’re designing habitats for our space explorers to live + work on other planets. We’re excited to see their designs come to life.

Monsi Roman | program manager — NASA • the Centennial Challenges

— quote —

We encouraged a huge range of people to build novel designs for a habitat on Mars. The virtual levels of the competition invite teams from high schools, universities, plus businesses — who never before had access to 3D printers. They can team-up with people who access those machines for the final level.

Lex Akers  | dean — Bradley Univ. • Caterpillar College of Engineering + Tech

— the 5 teams —

team no. 1 — Team Zopherus
habitat: text

team no. 2 — AI | SpaceFactory
habitat: text

team no. 3 — Kahn | Yates
habitat: text

team no. 4 — Search+ | Apis Cor
habitat: xHouse

team no. 5 — NorthWestern Univ.
habitat: text

— watch the spectacular high-quality films —

by team no. 1 | watch video — www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZEUYKePV_0
by team no. 2
| watch video — www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnrVV0w2jrE
by team no. 3 | watch video — www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_BN_xJZMOk
by team no. 4 | watch video — www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lxoqs18BOoE
by team no. 5 | watch video — www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxzoO9ADqOE

AI spacefactory

Team Kahn-Yates of Jackson

Team SEArch+/Apis Cor

Team Zopherus

Team Northwestern University

— the challenge phases —

phase no. 1 — the Design Competition | home

— teams submit architectural renderings
— prize purse: $50,000

phase no. 2 — the Structural Member Competition | home

— focused on building materials technologies
— teams must craft structural components
— prize purse $1.1 million

phase no. 3 — the On-Site Habitat Competition | home

— teams fabricate sub-scale habitats
— 5 levels of competition: 3 construction levels + 2 two virtual levels
— for virtual levels: teams make models using Building Information Modeling software
— teams design a habitat: combining the structure + systems it must contain
— construction levels: teams must autonomously 3D print elements of their habitat
— construction levels: produce a 1/3 scale printed habitat for the finale
— prize purse: $2 million

— the NASA Centennial Challenges —

NASA Centennial Challenges were started in year 2005 to engage the public imagination for advanced technology development. The program offers prizes to encourage revolutionary solutions — to problems of interest to the nation.

The program looks for innovation from diversity and non-traditional sources. The goal of the program is to stimulate interest in basic research + prototypes — with actual potential for NASA.

With the spirit of the Wright bros. — the pioneers who invented the airplane — the Centennial Challenge prizes are given to independent teams from: small businesses, student groups, and everyday people. They craft solutions for actual technical problems interesting to NASA.

NASA | Centennial Challenges: home

— the 4 challenges —

no. 1 — 3D Printed Habitate Challenge | home

The 3D Printed Habitat Challenge uses additive construction tech needed to create sustainable housing for deep space exploration, including astronauts journey to Mars. The competition is divided into  phases focused on: design, materials, and fabrication.

no. 2 — Cube Quest Challenge | home

The Cube Quest competition is sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. Teams design, build, and deliver: flight-qualified, small satellites — capable of advanced operations beyond the moon.

cube satellite


no. 3 — Space Robotics Challenge | home

The Space Robotics Challenge — sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate + Space Center Houston — invites teams to develop software to control the Robonaut 5 humanoid robot in a simulated NASA mission, such as Mars.

Space Flight Houston | home
Robonaut 5

no. 4 — Vascular Tissue Challenge | home

The Vascular Tissue Challenge — partnered with the Methuselah Foundation’s New Organ Alliance, offers a $500,000 prize to be divided among the first three teams that successfully create thick, metabolically-functional human vascularized organ tissue in a controlled laboratory environment.

Methuselah Foundation | home
Methuselah Foundation | New Organ Alliance

— notes —

* Search: is Space Exploration Architecture
* NASA: is the US National Aeronautics + Space Administration

[ story file ]

story title: digest | Life on Mars: building habitats for humanity
deck: Spectacular with 3D printed realism.
year: 2018
posted: by managing editor
section: digest

[ end of file ]