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Inside NASA’s Challenge to 3D Print Future Habitats on Mars

Via Seeker

NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge is a 4-year long competition centered around engineering habitats for deep space exploration, in this case Mars.

Mars has captivated our imagination for hundreds of years. The planet’s proximity and striking resemblance to Earth, and its potential to harbor life, has made Mars the target of many robotic missions.

But the surface of Mars is not as Earth-like as it might seem. With temperatures drastically changing each day, an inability to retain heat, and Mars’ total lack of a magnetosphere—there is almost no protection against dangerous solar radiation or cosmic radiation. This means we have to be able to build a futuristic habitat on Mars that can protect us from the extreme environment.

Enter: The brightest space architects and engineers from across the globe competing to prove they have what it takes to build a Martian home for humanity.

Two teams went head to head to print their designs and work out various complications, like what materials would work best on Mars (hint: thermoplastics), to prove they have what it takes to build humanity’s future home on Mars.

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