AeroResCon2023: Autonomous robots will 3D print the vaulted lunar outpost for NASA and AI SpaceFactory.

 LINA is a 3D printed structure that is meant to be a lunar settlement, and its design has been released by AI SpaceFactory and the NASA Kennedy Space Center. The structure, which is planned to be built on the south pole of the moon by autonomous robots, is characterised by Romanesque arches that require less material to endure enormous compressive loads.

LINA's structural design will be 3D printed utilising lunar regolith and a polymer derived from Earth. LINA will be 3D printed at a 60-degree angle in contrast to traditional 3D printing, which adds layers parallel to the ground to enable construction of the vaulted roof. To give defence against radiation, micrometeorites, lunar seismic activity, and dramatic heat swings, the arches will be covered in 2.7 metres (8.8 feet) of lunar regolith.

The team will use the nearly constant sunshine on the crater's peaks provided by the outpost's proximity to the Shackleton crater's rim at the lunar south pole to generate electricity. Meanwhile, the inside of the crater's shadows will enable the collection of water ice.

When completed, LINA will serve as a test case for long-lasting structures that might allow long-term living and future travel to more planets in addition to its primary purpose of assisting astronauts on lunar missions.

LINA is an extension of AI SpaceFactory's partnership with NASA, which dates back to its victory in the NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge. The company's plan, MARSHA, was created to be built on Mars using Martian soil; its features have been modified for LINA by replacing lunar regolith with Martian soil.

According to AI SpaceFactory CEO David Malott, "our Mars habitat prototype MARSHA proved that 3D printing with a polymer composite was a strong answer for habitation off-world." The advancement of that technology is made possible by the creation of LINA and printing in an environment free of atmospheric pressures or weather patterns.

The plan's announcement comes just a few weeks after ZGF Architects unveiled their new Los Angeles residence for the Space Shuttle Endeavour. With the eventual objective of building habitats on the Moon, Mars, and in orbit, the MIT Media Lab developed and tested modular tiles that can self-assemble in space in May.

Three universities received contracts from NASA in March to build infrastructure on the moon, while Orbital Assembly, a business that builds spacecraft, presented designs for the first space hotel ever built. The topic of extraterrestrial architecture was also covered in our 2021 interviews with Jeffrey Montes, senior space architect at Blue Origin and research fellow at Open Lunar Foundation, who played a key role in the development of the MARSHA concept, and Jakob Lange from Bjarke Ingels Group, who gave us an overview of the Mars Dune Alpha Habitat designed by BIG and NASA.


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