NASA and America Makes are launching a competition for 2.25 million dollar overall prize for the best housing designs to aid the upcoming Journey to Mars.
With the recent release of the Technological Roadmaps 2015 from NASA, the Journey to Mars program has received much public attention. If everything goes according to plan, by 2030 a human colony will be thriving on the Red Planet.
Technological aspects are thoroughly considered and issues are tackled one step at a time. Some tasks are relayed on specialized agencies, while others seem fitted for NASA to make use of crowdsourcing and brilliant innovation that may cut years off in-house efforts and resources.
Recently, the news leading the headlines was that NASA is trying to observe whether oxygen on Mars could be provided from microorganism that could adapt to the planet’s gaseous atmosphere.
The same consideration taken into account then, that of much needed space on the shuttle for other life-essential materials, is now setting in motion the competition for housing solutions on Mars.
Encouraging out of the box thinking, America Makes and NASA are looking for the best options to create habitats based on either 3D printing technology or spacecraft debris and indigenous resources.
The competition is divided in two phases. The first, announced on Saturday at the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo ends on September 27th. Through this phase state of the art architectural concepts are sought.
It is hoped that they will focus on the significant advantages of 3D printing. 30 submissions that meet the exceptional criteria will be deliberated upon and one prize of 50,000 dollars is to be awarded to the top choice at the 2015 World Maker Faire in New York.
The second phase of the competition opens on September 26 and both levels on which it is designed carry a prize of 1.1 million dollars. Level 1 expects submissions that focus on fabrication technologies for structural components.
The requirement for the Structural Member Competition is that the components that will be manufactured employing the to-be awarded technology are made of in situ materials or a combination of these with recyclables.
Level 2 expects submissions for full scale habitat designs employing the same materials as Level 1.
Crowdsourcing is not at its first attempt with NASA. In 2005, NASA’s Centennial Challenges program invested 4 million dollars in engaging the public with the advancement of technology.
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