Deep space missions, such as those to the Moon and Mars, are in our future. NASA, SpaceX, and other top-tier entities in the business of space exploration are pouring millions, if not billions of dollars into this endeavor with the hope of expanding our footprint to another world besides Earth; but several challenges remain.
Perhaps the most important of all is developing a series of habitats that can support human life on another planet. At first glance, it looks as if 3D printing could extend an olive branch in this department since it promises cheap and effective on-site habitat-building. Moreover, cylindrical habitat-printing machines are in the works, and they’re using various types of materials to protect against harmful space radiation and fluctuating temperatures.
In the case of AI SpaceFactory, a team of ambitious individuals who wanted to create a powerful proof of concept, this meant designing something out of thermoplastics since this wouldn’t necessitate the use of water (a valuable resource if on another planet). They then deployed their 3D printer in front of a team of judges and demonstrated its strength and feasibility as a potential habitat-building platform.
All in all, it seems like egg-shaped habitats are the way to go for otherworldly missions because they can hold back the pressure of a pressurized life support system most efficiently while still providing the shelter and living space that astronauts would need.