Next step for Human Colinization. Build a shelter

There are a lot of ways to build shelters for colonies.  Bob Zubrin's idea was to create Mars landers that left part of themselves behind to serve as shelters for the next crew, gradually adding until you get a small colony.  NASA has also done some work on cylindrical shelters, although lava tubes (Yes, LAVA tubes) in the moon could also be the foundation for underground shelters.  There's research being done on inflatable structures as well.

And now, we have a machine that may someday fabricate a building just like we print a document.

3-D printers have been around for awhile, but the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies, or CRAFT, at the University of Southern California, has found a way to take it up to a larger scale.

How awesome is that?  The machine breaks down into parts for shipping and reassembly, making it portable.  The first hoped-for use is to create sturdy emergency shelters quickly and to provide low-cost shelters for the poor, especially in underdeveloped countries.  However, if there's a way to make the building material out of native elements, this has some great applications for space.  Instead of hauling the buildings to space, we send a few machines up and manufacture buildings from the sands of Mars or the Moon.

Cool pic, eh?  You can see the full article about this device at

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Virginia L. Jennings said...


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