Designing sustainable homes on Mars and Earth

Penn State researchers are developing 3D-printed building technology that could be used for NASA’s space exploration projects and impact the future of housing on Earth.

Maryam Hojati, Colleges of Engineering and Arts and Architecture; Nate Watson, College of Engineering; Shadi Nazarian, College of Arts and Architecture; Jose Duarte, College of Arts and Architecture; and Negar Ashrafi, College of Arts and Architecture, left to right, are among the members of the Penn State Den@Mars Team competing in NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. IMAGE: PENN STATE

June 25, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Almost 34 million miles from Earth, Mars exists as the solar system’s next frontier for human space exploration. A team of Penn State researchers has accepted NASA’s challenge of designing an autonomous system capable of creating a human shelter on the red planet using 3D-printing technology. With the focus of the project on Mars, and research with a science-fiction-edge spurring the imagination to expand, perhaps the most profound application of their work is on Earth.

The team’s breakthroughs have opened the possibility to applying the technology to create sustainable housing options that could revolutionize the construction industry and address larger societal issues such as homelessness.

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Designing sustainable homes on Mars and Earth
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Designing sustainable homes on Mars and Earth
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Almost 34 million miles from Earth, Mars exists as the solar system’s next frontier for human space exploration.