NASA has made public its intentions to construct homes on the moon.

There must be cheaper rent somewhere.

According to the New York Times, the space agency has contracted with ICON, an Austin, Texas-based corporation, to develop properties on the moon by 2040.

Under Project Olympus, NASA intends to use a 3D printer to create structures on the moon using unique lunar concrete composed of dust, mineral pieces, and chips from the moon’s uppermost layer.

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Additionally, NASA is working with colleges and commercial businesses to assist in the construction of doors, furnishings, tiles, etc.

NASA’s director of technology maturation, Niki Werkheiser, told the New York Times, “I think we’ll get there because we’ve got all the right people together at the right time with a common goal.”

“There’s no reason it can’t happen if we develop our core capabilities; everyone is prepared to take this step together.”

Project Olympus, however, is facing a significant issue.

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According to the NYT, there is lunar dust on the moon that is so powerful that it may break through glass and contaminate building materials.

It would also be challenging to send items into space, which is another reason the space agency teamed up with ICON.

To build these homes, they will utilize 3D printed lunar dirt.

First things first, a proof of concept must be completed. Is it possible to transform the soil on the moon into a material suitable for building? The project’s principal geologist at Marshall Space Flight Center, Jennifer Edmunson, told the site as much.

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“If we are to realize lunar habitats by the year 2040, we must begin this development now.”

Prior to starting construction in orbit, ICON will test its printer in NASA’s Marshall orbit Flight Center the next year to see how well it can resist the environment.

According to Victor Pritchett, director of Marshall’s experimental fluids and environmental test section, he has twelve testing chambers that replicate the radiation and thermal vacuum conditions they might encounter in space.

He continued by saying that materials should be able to survive in space if they can survive the chambers.

NASA must first launch landing pads so that the rockets can transport the 3D printers to the moon.

The location of these pads will be away from the construction, reducing the amount of dust created during takeoff and landing.

Hopefully everything goes as planned.


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