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Saturday26 July 2014

Foster & Partners designs 3D printed lunar base

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The structure will be made from lunar soil

Foster & Partners has revealed its designs for a 3D-printed moon base made from lunar soil.

In 2009 the European Space Agency enlisted the help of the practice, which has devised a weight-bearing ‘cantenary’ dome design with a cellular structured wall to shield against small meteoroids and space radiation.

Inside a pressurised inflatable space would be used to shelter astronauts.

Foster Partners' 3D printed lunar base

Source: Foster & Partners

Foster & Partners’ Lunar base made with 3D printing

The base’s design was guided by the properties of 3D-printed lunar soil, with a 1.5 tonne building block produced as a demonstration.

“3D printing offers a potential means of facilitating lunar settlement with reduced logistics from Earth,” said Scott Hovland of ESA’s human spaceflight team.

“The new possibilities this work opens up can then be considered by international space agencies as part of the current development of a common exploration strategy.”

Foster Partners' 3D printed lunar base

Source: Foster & Partners

Foster & Partners’ multi-dome base being constructed

Factors such as controlling lunar dust – hazardous to breathe in – and thermal factors will require further study.

“As a practice, we are used to designing for extreme climates on Earth and exploiting the environmental benefits of using local, sustainable materials,” said Xavier De Kestelier, a member of Foster’s specialist modelling group. “Our lunar habitation follows a similar logic.”

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Readers' comments (16)

  • One of the Lunar Dome's is a Restaurant. The food is excellent but theres no atmosphere.

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  • That is a terrible joke you should Apollo-gise

    Andy Ramus
    AR Design Studio

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  • Pie in the sky?

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  • Foster+Klangers

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  • Sorry Andy it was a moment of Lunarcy. To be honest I was over the moon with the joke myself.

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  • Norman has obviously got too much time (and money) on his hands these days.
    First the silly floating airport that nobody wants, now, following too much time watching repeats of 'The Clangers' and 'Telletubbies', he comes up with this derivative 'master work'.
    How long before he's advertising for staff for a new lunar office? The hubris of the man!

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  • Starchitect

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  • Will it be sustainable? Will it be full of nanotechnology micro machines, or just BS

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  • It clear from the above that this scheme will be forgotten by moon-day!

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  • Sean, I would say by SUNday

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