Today, AI SpaceFactory was awarded $500,000 by NASA for the successful construction of our Mars habitat MARSHA. The 15-foot tall prototype was 3D printed during the final phase of NASA’s 3D Printed Habitat Challenge and included three robotically-placed windows.
AI SpaceFactory was announced the 1st place winner out of over 60 challengers. We were lauded for the automation of our print – completed with nearly no human assistance in 30 hours – as well as our innovative biopolymer basalt composite, a biodegradable and recyclable material derived from natural materials found on Mars. After withstanding NASA’s pressure, smoke, and impact testing, this material was found to be stronger and more durable than its concrete competitors.
“It’s light, and it’s strong, like an airplane. That’s going to be very important for these types of habitats,” said Lex Akers, Dean of the Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology at Bradley University.
After spending 2 years developing construction technologies for Mars, we plan to bring our space-driven technologies back to Earth this year. We plan to recycle the materials from MARSHA and re-use them to 3D print TERA, the first-ever space-tech eco habitat on Earth.
“We developed these technologies for Space, but they have the potential to transform the way we build on Earth,” said David Malott, CEO and Founder of AI SpaceFactory. “By using natural, biodegradable materials grown from crops, we could eliminate the building industry’s massive waste of unrecyclable concrete and restore our planet.”
The first building of its kind, TERA is expected to launch on Indiegogo this month and will be available to anyone wanting to experience what sustainable life might be like on Mars. It will emphasize the need for new, renewable construction technologies on this planet, while researching what’s needed to enable life on a new one.