Getting into space, and setting up shop on a planet like Mars, is obviously a big part of the equation — but having something to live in once we get there is also fairly important. Maybe you can help with that.
NASA and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, aka America Makes, is launching a $2.25 million competition to design and build a 3D printed habitat for use on Mars and other deep space exploration missions. That’s right — NASA basically wants your help to design a space base.
NASA notes that the multi-phase 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, which is part of the agency's Centennial Challenges program, is designed to advance the additive construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth and beyond. Ideally, NASA wants to generate ideas to build or create habitats from repurposed parts of a spaceship, or using indigenous materials from the planet. That way, there’s more room for stuff like equipment, food, and more food.
"The future possibilities for 3-D printing are inspiring, and the technology is extremely important to deep space exploration," said Sam Ortega, Centennial Challenges program manager. "This challenge definitely raises the bar from what we are currently capable of, and we are excited to see what the maker community does with it."
Basically, NASA is looking at 3D printing tech as a major component, so they're asking anyone interested to come up with ideas. The top 30 submissions will be judged and a $50,000 prize will be awarded at the 2015 World Maker Faire in New York. So, what's your best idea for a space habitat? If you’re interested in pitching your own 3D printed habitat, check out the full rules from NASA right here.