Just 65 years after the initial Apollo Mission, NASA is planning to return astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024. The Moon to Mars approach has the goal to create a habitat capable of sustaining life on the Moon. Recently, NASA just secured funding for 18 early-stage 3D printing projects developing technologies to help on its next mission to the Moon. These projects are among 363 proposals that have received over $43 million from NASA.
In recent years, 3D printing experiments in Lunar and Martian regolith have demonstrated the potential to build habitats. And, NASA’s own 3D Printed Habitat Challenge has also been seeking ideas to help build shelter; the challenge invites proposals for 3D printed structures that can be made with the kind of materials available on Mars.