Ice House | Mars
LERA was the structural engineer for the winning design entered into NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, which envisions the manufacture of a habitat on Mars using local indigenous materials and advanced 3D printing technology. Phase 1 of the competition called for innovative, visionary designs; Phase 2 tasked designers with manufacturing actual 3D-printed objects using techniques that could be employed on site.
The Ice House is a magnificent pressurized shell of 3D-printed indigenous ice. Located in the shallow slopes of Alba Mons in Mars’ northern hemisphere, this innovative structure draws on the anticipated abundance of pure water within the region. With an inner and outer shell, the multi-layered structure acts as a radiation barrier protecting the human and plant life within. At the center is the human habitat, designed for a crew of four. The outer shell encloses the pressure volume that separates the habitat from the thin Martian atmosphere, while vertical hydroponic gardens occupy the pockets in between.
Images Credit: Clouds AO / SEArch
Clouds AO / SEArch
First Place, 2015
NASA 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge