NASA’s ambitious plan to erect Moon Home or Lunar Home by 2040 has earned the endorsement of seven NASA scientists, who believe the deadline is doable if the agency continues to satisfy its criteria. In a recent piece by The New York Times, NASA’s Director of Technology Maturation, Niki Werkheiser, described the current moment as important and surreal, but yet feeling inevitable.
NASA’s Planning for Moon Home with ICON:
The foundation of NASA’s concept relies upon leveraging 3D printing technology to construct lunar structures using lunar concrete obtained from the moon’s surface, specifically rock chips, mineral pieces and dust. To bring this idea to life, NASA has worked with ICON, a construction business based in Austin, Texas, known for its skill in 3D printing. ICON has already deployed its 3D printing technology to produce homes for the homeless in Austin and hurricane-resistant dwellings in Mexico, with construction times as short as 48 hours.
ICON’s relationship with NASA began in 2020 and in 2022, they obtained $57 million in financing for space-based construction technologies. The company’s 3D printing equipment will be put to the test in NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in February to evaluate its performance under lunar conditions, including vacuum, radiation, micrometeorites and severe temperatures.
One of the primary issues in creating lunar dwellings is the necessity to guard against the hostile lunar environment. To address this, NASA is developing a simulation of lunar concrete that can resist temperatures of up to 3,400 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring the endurance of the constructions.
Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON, underlined the significance of establishing robust systems capable of utilising local resources on the moon and other celestial planets to alter the paradigm of space travel from “there and back again” to “there to stay.”
For the creation of general home products such as doors, tiles and furniture, NASA is cooperating with universities and private enterprises, thus broadening the scope of the project.
In addition to the construction technologies, NASA aims to build landing pads on the lunar surface for rockets bringing the 3D printer. These landing pads will assist mitigate the dust generated up during rocket landings, assuring the success of construction operations.
Werkheiser expressed optimism about the project, stating that the right individuals are participating at the appropriate time, sharing a same aim of making this ambitious concept a reality. She stressed the global readiness to take this important step forward in lunar exploration.
Certainty for Moon Home for Civilians..?
However, it’s vital to remember that the cost and ownership structure of lunar residences or moon home for civilians remain uncertain at this stage. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty bans anybody from claiming ownership of the moon, generating problems concerning property rights and access to lunar amenities.
The first big step towards this vision is the Artemis 2 mission, intended to bring men into lunar orbit in the following year. Subsequently, humans are set to return to the lunar surface in 2025 or 2026 during the Artemis 3 mission, with SpaceX’s Starship playing a major part in making this historic landing on the lunar South Pole.
NASA’s ambitious ambition to create 3D-printed lunar structures or Moon Home by 2040 constitutes a significant leap in space exploration and settlement. With collaboration between NASA and ICON, as well as partnerships with other institutions, this innovative initiative offers the potential to change the way we approach lunar exploration and occupation, ultimately paving the path for sustained human presence beyond Earth.
The cost of “Moon home or Lunar home” is unpredictable right now, But it’s for sure that by NASA’s planning and their resounding efforts, In upcoming decades, there will be a residential colony over moon.