NASA Plans to Build Houses on the Moon, A Step Toward Living on Other Celestial Bodies
NASA has set its sights on more than just returning to the moon; the agency wants to establish a permanent presence for humans by building houses on the lunar surface.
According to a report in The New York Times, NASA scientists are already working on the ambitious project, dubbed Project Olympus, which aims to have habitable structures on the moon by 2040.
The key partner for this endeavor is Austin-based company ICON, known for its innovative 3D printing technology. ICON has previously used its 3D printer to construct homes on Earth, including those for the homeless and hurricane-resistant houses in Mexico.
Now, the company plans to utilize lunar resources, such as moon dust and rocks, to create a concrete-like material that will form the basis of the lunar homes and other structures.
By using lunar materials, the structures will be more resilient against the harsh lunar environment, including the sharp and toxic dust that permeates the moon’s surface.
However, before the houses can become a reality, the 3D printer’s capabilities need to be tested in space conditions. ICON’s printer will undergo testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in February 2023 to evaluate its performance in the vacuum and radiation levels of space.
In addition to houses, NASA is also collaborating with universities and private companies to develop other essential household items for lunar living, such as doors, tiles, and furniture. However, the challenge of creating a habitable atmosphere on the moon remains an open question.
Before lunar colonization can begin, NASA must successfully send astronauts back to the moon. The Artemis program aims to achieve this goal, with the Artemis 2 mission planned for 2024, which will send astronauts into lunar orbit.
Subsequently, the Artemis 3 mission, scheduled for either 2025 or 2026, will see humans land on the lunar South Pole with the assistance of SpaceX’s Starship.
In conclusion, NASA’s vision of establishing houses on the moon by 2040 represents a significant step toward creating a permanent human presence on other celestial bodies.
With innovative partnerships and the use of lunar resources, this ambitious project aims to pioneer new technologies and pave the way for future space exploration.