NASA announces plans to build houses on the moon by 2040

NASA has unveiled intentions to construct residences on the moon, prompting us to consider packing our bags!

Let's be candid—the current cost of living is exorbitant, leading to soaring housing prices with no relief in sight.

Any concept that could generate additional living spaces and potentially lower the expenses associated with having a place to live is a promising notion. But could the moon offer a solution?

According to NASA, initiatives are already underway to establish homes on the lunar surface within the next two decades, potentially allowing us to witness this development in our lifetime.
In a report by the New York Times, NASA revealed that it has joined forces with Austin-based tech firm ICON for this groundbreaking venture, known as Project Olympus.

While the prospect of lunar real estate may sound like something out of science fiction, NASA and ICON are dead serious about making it a reality.
Under Project Olympus, NASA will send a 3D printer to the moon, specially designed to build structures using lunar concrete derived from rock chips, mineral fragments, and moon dust.

Additionally, the space agency is collaborating with private companies and universities to create doors, furniture, tiles, and more, aiming to establish a fully functional living environment on our celestial neighbor.

Niki Werkheiser, NASA's director of technology maturation, expressed her optimism, saying: "We've got all the right people together at the right time with a common goal, which is why I think we'll get there. Everyone is ready to take this step together, so if we get our core capabilities developed, there's no reason it's not possible."

However, Project Olympus faces a significant hurdle - lunar dust, which is notorious for its abrasive properties capable of cutting through glass and damaging construction materials.
Furthermore, the challenge of launching materials into space adds complexity to the project, leading NASA to enlist the expertise of ICON. ICON plans to use lunar soil in its 3D printing process to construct these innovative lunar houses.

Jennifer Edmunson, lead geologist at the Marshall Space Flight Center for the project, emphasized the need for a proof of concept, stating: "The first thing that needs to happen is a proof of concept. Can we actually manipulate the soil on the lunar surface into a construction material? We need to start this development now if we're going to realize habitats on the moon by the 2040 time frame."

Before venturing into outer space, ICON will test its 3D printer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center next year, ensuring it can withstand the challenging lunar environment.

Victor Pritchett, director of experimental fluids and environmental test branch for Marshall, mentioned having a dozen testing chambers designed to simulate radiation and thermal vacuum conditions that materials would encounter beyond Earth. If these materials can withstand these extreme conditions, they will likely hold up in the harsh environment of space.
In preparation for this lunar construction extravaganza, NASA plans to launch landing pads for the rockets that will transport the 3D printers to the moon. These launch sites will be situated away from the construction area to minimize the dispersal of lunar dust during rocket landings and takeoffs.

Pack those bags - we're going to the moon!

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