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Lunar Base Made of Regolith

Foster + Partners, the London design firm that brought us Apple’s upcoming “mothership” corporate campus have not been resting on their laurels. In fact, they’re aiming high, with their eyes on the Moon.

Building things in space is expensive for a number of reason, not the least of which is the difficulty of getting materials to the construction site. On Earth we have resources like wood and stone close at hand for building projects. So what does the moon have that could become a building (or a lunar colony)? The Moon has lots of regolith, the dusty soil that covers our nearest neighbor.

Foster + Partners, along with the European Space Agency and others, is exploring the possibility of using 3D printing technology to create a lunar base from the soil already there. The concept of creating structures with 3D printing has been proven on Earth, and may make even more sense off-Earth. Designs would employ a building block made up of hollow, closed cells, minimizing weight while giving good strength.

We can only hope the same technology that gives us plastic Yoda heads in ever increasing detail may one day put a roof over our heads somewhere on the final frontier.

(via Gizmag and ESA)

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About The Author

Avatar of Dave Peterson
Editor in Chief

Dave lives near Seattle, Washington, surrounded by evergreen trees and flat panel displays. His special gadget interest is eReaders and the pursuit of the perfect digital reading experience. He is the Editor-in-Chief of GeekBeat.TV.

One Response

  1. Joe

    Cool idea, but why print blocks only to have to assemble them? Why not just go straight from dirt to printed structure? Basically spray layered cement over inflatable interiors?