Out-of-this world designs compete for NASA habitat prize
Latest winners announced in ongoing competition for off-world shelters
Teams competing in NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge to create shelters suitable for the Moon, Mars or beyond have finished the latest level of the competition – complete virtual construction. This stage required teams to create a full-scale habitat design using modelling software, with the top entries receiving a share of a $100,000 prize purse.
After evaluation by a panel of judges, NASA and challenge partner Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois, awarded the following teams:
1. SEArch+/Apis Cor - New York - $33,954.11
2. Zopherus – Rogers, Arkansas - $33,422.01
3. Mars Incubator – New Haven, Connecticut - $32,623.88
In addition to aiding human space exploration, technologies sought from this competition could also lead to lower-cost housing solutions on Earth. The challenge, which began in 2015, is structured in phases, each with multiple levels. Phases to date include the design stage in which teams submitted architectural renderings, followed by the structural member competition that focused on material technologies. The current phase is the on-site habitat competition, comprising of five levels that test teams’ ability to advance technology in order to autonomously construct their designs.
Eleven team entries were scored and awarded points based on architectural layout, programming, efficient use of interior space, and the 3D-printing scalability and constructability of the habitat. Teams prepared short videos providing insight into their designs as well as miniature 3D-printed models that came apart to showcase the interior design. Additional points were awarded for aesthetic representation and realism.
The Challenge will culminate with a head-to-head subscale structure print on May 1-4, 2019, and the awarding of an $800,000 prize purse. Media and the public will be invited to attend the event in Peoria, Illinois.
TenderStream Head of Research