New Printable Material Answers Accommodation Concerns on Mars

Press Release

When we are ready to send people to live on the surface of Mars, they are going to need to live somewhere. However, construction equipment and materials are large and heavy, and sending them to another planet would be both difficult and extremely expensive.

A discovery might enable the first human person on Mars to 3D print everything from instrumentation to temporary shelters, by just using Martian dirt, out of a rubbery product.

This could make it possible for the printing of the equipment and accommodation that would ensure that the first humans to set foot on the Red Planet would survive without carrying all provisions with them. While recent trips to Mars would allow astronauts to bring much more equipment than previous missions would have approved, it will not be possible to haul Mother Earth’s care packages on to an alien planet. Nearly any strategy for colonising the red planet (or colonising the moon) needs the local environment to at least provide resources for expeditions.

Earlier this year, Space.com toured AI SpaceFactory’s main offices, a Mars environment layout and 3D printing construction and software design firm. The company has recently worked on a design called Marsha and won NASA’s 3D-printed habitat competition.

Space.com went around the space plant to try to see the real needs of a Martian colony through AI SpaceFactory miniature setup. According to Mallot, it would be costly to ferry materials to Mars. 

Buildings on Mars would have to be made robotically in advance in preparation of the arrival of astronauts using Martian based materials 

Mallot confirmed that the products used by the organisation for its Mars printing were Martian in one manner or another. He clarified them to be a basalt-binding biopolymer. The rocky substance that forms Mars crust is basalt while the printing mix is made out of our home planet. Mallot assures that all the ingredients in the mix can be found on Mars, too.

This Martian printable material is not only durable and recyclable but also resource-efficient as compared to cement and concrete, which are used for most of the Earth’s construction projects. This is in comparison to using cement and concrete which are not recyclable either, a lot of water required in tons, and great amounts of energy. These are not required in the manufacture of the products.

Mallot further stated that the whole mystery of what they have embarked on was that they had found a stable energy-efficient method of constructing on the Red Planet more stable.  The program has overcome a significant challenge by answering the question of how to create accommodation on Mars in an intense and unprecedented climate. 

This post was originally published on Financial Sector

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