House structure agency AI SpaceFactory has unveiled their plan for a lunar habitat, which has been designed for additive manufacturing on the Moon’s floor.
The lunar construction idea, named “LINA” has been designed with inputs from engineers at NASA’s Kennedy House Middle, and marks the primary time that the company has collaborated with a non-public associate in lunar habitat design.
LINA’s will probably be 3D printed with a lunar regolith polymer composite made with supplies discovered or manufactured on the Moon, and the buildings will characteristic an ultra-thin shell with 3d printed load-bearing arches.
The skinny construction will probably be buried below a 2.7-meter thick, protecting regolith overburden. The result’s a light-weight, mass optimized construction that features as protection towards radiation and the intense lunar setting.
LINA is proposed to be located at Shackleton Crater, on the Moon’s south pole, which incorporates water ice (for gasoline, oxygen, and consuming) and one thing approximating a “peak of everlasting gentle” on the crater rim, the place photo voltaic panels bathed in near-perpetual daylight could possibly be used for nearly round the clock energy era.
The design and testing of LINA is a part of NASA’s 2020 Announcement of Collaboration Alternative (ACO) mission Related Atmosphere Additive Building Know-how (REACT).
Initially, AI SpaceFactory had developed a polymer that might in precept be manufactured on Mars, they usually used a simulated Martian regolith to show this on their MARSHA habitat mission.
In collaboration with Techmer PM, AI SpaceFactory developed a Mars plastic produced from a combination of basalt fiber, which could be extracted from Martian rock, and renewable bioplastic (PLA) processed from crops grown on Mars. This course of is being modified to work with lunar regolith simulants.
“Our Mars habitat prototype MARSHA proved that 3D printing with a polymer composite was a powerful answer for habitation off-world,” mentioned AI SpaceFactory CEO David Malott.
“Creating LINA and printing in an setting that’s void of atmospheric pressures or climate programs advances that know-how by way of a brand new context, with new and extra exact variables.”
Additional testing is required on the fabric and the extruder system below vacuum circumstances to find out the viability of the tactic. This may happen on the firm’s new vacuum chamber which is positioned at NASA KSC.
The AI SpaceFactory extruder has been fitted to a customized gantry designed and constructed by NASA, and this printer has been put in within the vacuum chamber. This may in-part serve to simulate the circumstances of the Moon the place the plastic lunarcrete printer will hopefully find yourself. The primary vacuum chamber prints will probably be tried later this yr.
You possibly can learn extra about LINA at this hyperlink.