NASA's new challenge for you

Published on May 19, 2015 14:48:48 PM
As a part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges programme, the US space agency has put forth a new challenge announcing a new $2.25 million competition for developing a 3D printed habitat that supports for deep space exploration.

This challenge is not only meant for space, but also for earth to enhance the construction technology of sustainable housing solutions in association with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute

"The future possibilities for 3D printing are inspiring and the technology is extremely important to deep space exploration," said Sam Ortega, Centennial Challenges programme 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," he added in a NASA statement.

The competition is two phased.

The first phase includes developing architectural concepts that use 3D printing capabilities. The top 30 submissions are judged and $50,000 will be awarded at the World Make Faire of 2015 in New York.

The second phase of the competition is divided into two levels and each level carries $1.1 million prize.

Level 1: the fabrication technologies that are needed to make structural components that combine indigenous materials and recyclables or materials alone.

Level 2: fabricate full scale habitats with the use of indigenous materials or materials combined with recyclables.
The concepts would help NASA in building the technical expertise to send habitat manufacturing machines to long distance destinations like Mars to construct shelters for explorers.

"We believe that 3D printing has the power to fundamentally change the way people approach design and construction for habitats, both on earth and off, and we are excitedly awaiting submissions from all types of competitors," said Ralph Resnick, founding director of America Makes.