Foster + Partners, the British architecture firm behind Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ campus, have unveiled 3D-printed habitats for astronauts who will be settling the red planet in the next few decades. These structures will be built by an array of pre-programmed, semi-autonomous robots prior to the eventual arrival of the astronauts on the Martian surface. They will select the site, dig a 1.5-meter deep crater, followed by a second delivery of the inflatable modules which sit within the crater to form the core of the settlement. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
“Three different kinds of robots are parachuted to the surface of Mars, each performing a specialised task within the large-scale Regolith Additive Construction (RAC) process. The larger ‘Diggers’ create the crater by excavating the regolith, which the medium-sized ‘Transporters’ then move into position over the inflatable habitat modules layer by layer. The loose Martian soil is then fused using microwaves around the modules using the same principles involved in 3D-printing by several small ‘Melters’. The fused regolith creates a permanent shield that protects the settlement from excessive radiation and extreme outside temperatures,” reports Mail Online.