NASA intends to send a 3D printer to the moon where it will subsequently erect buildings...
Digital Desk: The American space agency NASA plans to build homes on the moon, as per reports by the New York Times. Half a century after the Apollo 17 mission, when astronauts spent 75 hours on the lunar surface, the agency wants a longer stay.
The US newspaper spoke to half a dozen scientists who said that the 2040 goal for lunar structures is attainable, even though some experts think NASA's timeframe is overly ambitious. NASA intends to send a 3D printer to the moon where it will subsequently erect buildings.
According to the NYT report, the printer will employ concrete created from rock chips and mineral shards from the top layer of the moon's cratered surface.
"We're in a crucial phase right now, and it at times feels like a dream sequence. In other respects, it seems as though humans were destined to be here," stated Niki Werkheiser, NASA's director of technological maturation.
The space agency is depending on cutting-edge technologies and collaborations with academic institutions and private companies.
We have the right people in the right place at the right time with a common objective, therefore I believe we will succeed," Werkheiser said.
"Everyone is ready to take this step together, so if we develop our core competencies, there is no reason it cannot be accomplished," she added.
The 3D printer is currently being tested before it is sent to the moon in February 2024, states Fortune.
Before that, however, NASA must complete the Artemis 2 mission, which is set to launch next year, more than a year after its predecessor, Artemis 1, launched from Kennedy Space Center with just robots on board. The first lunar mission completed a lunar orbit and returned to Earth.
Four people will make up the crew of Artemis 2. According to a Fortune report, the Artemis 3 mission will land on the lunar South Pole with the help of SpaceX's Starship and bring people back to Earth in either 2025 or 2026.