Although a recent NASA-supported study found Mars cannot be made inhabitablewith our current technology, this hasn’t stopped the space agency from continuing its plans to one day colonize the red planet. One such initiative launched in 2015 is the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge.
The $2.5 million competition, now in its third phase, seeks to find the most adequate housing for future Martian residents. The challenge also hopes to uncover advanced construction technologies that may be used in sustainable housing solutions for Earth as well.
Now, NASA and its competition partner Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois, have selected the five winning teams out of 18 submissions from around the world. The winners will share the $100,000 prize and will have to create 3D-printed one-third-scale versions of their designs to confirm their models’ feasibility.
“We are thrilled to see the success of this diverse group of teams that have approached this competition in their own unique styles,” said in a statement Monsi Roman, program manager for NASA’s Centennial Challenges. “They are not just designing structures, they are designing habitats that will allow our space explorers to live and work on other planets. We are excited to see their designs come to life as the competition moves forward.”