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NASA has announced Phase 2 of its 3D-printed habitat challenge.

In Phase 1, design a construction which could be 3D printed using resources on Mars and competitions were challenged to dream up

NASA is offering $1.1 million in prize money in Phase 2 of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge for new ways to construct houses where future space explorers can live and work. The three-component competition asks citizen inventors to use easily available and recyclable materials for the raw material to print habitats.

Phase 2 is about building while Phase 1 was about architecture. It requests rivals to “show a recycling system that can create structural parts using terrestrial and space-based stuff and recyclables,” according to NASA’s Centennial Challenges site. Competitions in this period should construct a system that can in fact make the stuff needed to construct the constructions dreamed up in Phase 1.

Phase 2 competitors could develop a method to take the Martian ice and use a 3D printer to construct the ice into the sections needed to really make that layout.

Phase 2 focuses on the substance technologies needed to fabricate structural components from a mixture of indigenous materials and recyclables, or indigenous substances alone. NASA may use these technologies to construct shelters for future human explorers to Mars. On Earth, these same abilities may be used to create affordable housing where access to conventional building materials and abilities is restricted or wherever it truly is desired.

Three of Bradley University’s core values, “Innovation, collaboration and experiential learning, are at the heart of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge with Caterpillar and NASA, ” said Bradley University President Gary Roberts. “The challenge create relationships, provides an unparalleled opportunity for faculty and students to network and explore new ideas as they partner in creating solutions for our world and beyond.”

Registration for Phase 2 is now open; teams have until Jan. 31, 2017 to sign up. At ground facilities being proven by Caterpillar in Peoria the challenge will culminate in an earth contest in August 2017. Phase 3 will concentrate on manufacture of entire habitats. Phase 1 of the 3D- Printed Habitat Challenge, a design competition, was completed in 2015.

http://www.space.com/34287-nasa-3d-printed-habitat-phase-2.html

What are Asteroids

To call asteroids the “rock stars” of astronomy is concurrently a bad joke but an exact representation of exactly how astronomy followers watch them. Unlike suns, worlds and moons, asteroids are on the action, ever changing and, if they show up in the evening skies, exciting and also vibrant.

Like rock stars, asteroids have actually been offered their fair share of urban myth and lore. Several have attributed the termination of the dinosaurs to the impact of a huge asteroid on the earth. This theory has some integrity as well as, if it is true, it stimulates some very surprising images and also foreboding worries in the present reining varieties in the world, the human race.

That asteroids are rapid relocating space debris just makes their movement and also task most interesting as well as amazing. Unlike a moon, planet or celebrity, the odds that an asteroid might strike the earth are completely sensible and also as a matter of fact, there are many documented cases of tiny planets making it with our environment and also leaving some very impressive craters in the planet’s surface area.

Popular culture has gladly welcomed the suggestion of a planet effect. The suggestion has actually spawned several a science fiction story including the suggestion that unusual life kinds might ride asteroids to our globe and also start a “battle of the globes” situation. But by far, one of the most talked about concept that has actually captured the creativity and the anxieties of science fiction fans as well as the general public is of an additional planet striking the earth that can erase life as purportedly occurred to the dinosaurs. In fact, the film “Armageddon” was based upon this idea and the concept that in some way the human race could avoid that catastrophe with modern technology.

NASA’s ARM

Some of the probes NASA has performed on near flying asteroids have actually executed some quite impressive studies of these eccentric celestial bodies. In 1994 the Galileo probe obtained within 1000 miles of the asteroid Ida and also found that Ida in fact had its very own moon.

NASA is now developing the first ever mission to identify, capture and relocate an asteroid to a stable orbit around the moon, and send astronauts to return samples of it to Earth. This Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) will greatly advance NASA’s human path to Mars, testing the capabilities needed for future crewed missions to the Red Planet.

Multiple candidate asteroids have been identified by NASA and continues the search for one that could be redirected to near the moon. Of those four could be good candidates for ARM. Scientists expect more will be detected over the the next couple of years, and NASA will analyze before selecting the target asteroid for the ARM mission their rate, orbit, size and twist.

The initiative also includes an Asteroid Grand Challenge, designed to hasten NASA’s attempts to find potentially hazardous asteroids through non-traditional collaborations and partnerships. The challenge could also help identify candidates that are viable for ARM.

NASA plans to launch the ARM robotic spacecraft by the end of this decade. The spacecraft will capture a boulder from a big asteroid. After an asteroid mass is collected, it will be redirected by the spacecraft to a stable orbit around the moon called a “Distant Retrograde Orbit.” Astronauts aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft, launched from a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, will explore the asteroid in the mid-2020s.

The Test-bed for trips to Mars

Testing aboard the space station is helping us develop means to break these Earth-reliant bonds, so astronauts can be more autonomous the farther into the solar system they explore. Crewed mission and the ARM robotic mission to explore these abilities will further advance in the “Proving Ground” between Earth and Mars, or what we call cis-lunar space—the area around the moon.

The deep space environment around the moon is different than low-Earth orbit, but really similar to what an Orion spacecraft would experience on the trip to and from Mars. For instance, cosmic radiation and solar is more common.

Transit times to and from World are greater as well, and would change from nine for freight -100 days to 11 days for 10 and crew, with our present technology. This makes cislunar space ideal to test abilities needed for the longer duration missions to Mars or its moons—the Mars system— where there are fewer ties with Earth.

A human mission to and from the Mars system could last longer or 500 days, including six to nine months of transit each way. Missions to Mars will have to be “Earth Independent.” To become Earth independent, NASA will develop and examine through ARM several new technologies and capacities which will directly enable future missions to Mars.

What we hope to Learn

Solar Electric Propulsion – The robotic mission to capture and redirect an asteroid will test the largest and most advanced SEP system ever utilized. It also will test how the Space Launch System rocket launched Orion spacecraft can dock and operate with a SEP-powered craft. This new technology could send the large amounts of cargo and fuel to Mars in advance of a human mission.

Navigation and Docking – As we learn to steer a big mass like an asteroid using low-thrust propulsion and the gravitation fields of the moon and Earth, we’ll establish new technologies. Human missions to Mars will need much greater freight than we now send to the space station, which takes around a few days to arrive at a long distance. The ARM assignment will help techniques that are perfect by demanding a precise set of maneuvers to intercept the asteroid at a space with large time delays for sending those big masses. Reaching the World-moon system additionally needs preciseness nearly the same as that needed for Mars orbit. Very specific control will be required to perform this part of the ARM assignment, that may parallel the work needed to preposition freight at Mars.

Crew Facilities – NASA is working on an innovative PLSS that can shield astronauts or in deep space by enhancing oxygen regulation, humidity control and carbon dioxide removal. The cooling system also has been redesigned to adapt fluids kept for long intervals in space and at a somewhat raised atmospheric pressure, not dissimilar to the Mars surface surroundings. We are also enhancing freedom by assessing progress in gloves to enhance dexterity and thermal ability. Eventually the PLSS can be fixed by crew members in space or on Mars, and has been designed so that it is going to continue quite a while. As they perform these early quest spacewalks to collect asteroid samples during the crewed part of the ARM mission astronauts will examine the complex PLSS.

Collection and Containment – This expertise will help additionally enable NASA prepare to return samples through the growth of new techniques for containment and safe sample collection. These techniques will ensure that the samples are not contaminated by people with microbes in the samples which are returned, while protecting our planet from any potential dangers from Earth. Furthermore, techniques to mitigate dust exposure to the primary life support system, the spacesuits, and the inside of the Orion spacecraft, will be useful for working with Martian dust.

What next

The Asteroid Redirect Assignment unites the finest of the technology and human exploration attempts of NASA. ARM is a powerful early use of SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft that additionally lays more basis for future missions. The assignment will lower the prices of quest by construction systems that updated multiple times and can be used. Finally, the assignment permits NASA to go as quickly as possible on a human path to Mars, building experiences aboard the space station, while minimizing new developments, and testing new systems and capacities in the proving ground of cis-lunar space.

Keep Updated With the ARM Programme

Mars City Design

Mars City Design is a collaboration of engineers, architects and visionaries with a goal of taking steps toward realising the technology requires to sustain human civilisation on Mars. Described as a ‘Human Movement’ it was born from the vision of Vera Mulyani, who always dreamt of becoming an architect of Mars. Their mission is mission is to design the blueprint for sustainable cities on Mars.

The Mars City Design Competition has taken entries from around the world, with the top 3 invited to develop their ideas further at a summer workshop held at the University of Southern California in September 2016. The workshop which will features speakers such as Buzz Aldrin will be an opportunity to advance the design and be part of the exhibition.

Among the concepts from the 25 finalists are unique projects as “Neurosynthesis,” which includes a closed river system and even an artificial waterfall; “Project Dandelion,” which uses the planet’s soil to provide sustainable oxygen and water; and “The Mars Living Machine,” which explores how extreme environments like Mars will help shape architecture.

“What we’re trying to do in our workshop is to experiment,” project creator and self-proclaimed “Marschitect” Vera Mulyani told Digital Trends. “The gravity on Mars is different, so the density of the building materials will be different. It’s not about an architectural project that just looks cool; we have to see how far we can push 3D printing by experimenting [with] new ingredients for the paste and eventually building in some of the most extreme places on Earth. We want to learn how we can modify what we have today so that we can use it on Mars. Once we have that answer, we can improve our tools.”

The next step will be to 3D Print these concepts and test them in one of the most inhospitable places on earth  most inhospitable places on Earth – the Mojave Desert. 3D printing and additive manufacturing could make colonisation possible because the capacity to fabricate just about anything require in-situ from the few raw materials found on the planet and the few raw materials that could be transported will be essential for a self-sustaining colony. Having raised almost $30,000 on kickstarter to make the Mojave dream a reality it will allow the finalists to begin to replicate the requirements for humans to colonise Mars.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/3d-printing-mars-colony-mojave-desert/#ixzz4HHZGy9b6

Mars Expeditions

In June and July of 2003 NASA launched two robot rovers with goal of gathering information about the little understood planet Mars. Previous expeditions offered us a lot of details, but they have been few and fleeting visits and not nearly enough information has been accumulated yet.

The rovers, Spirit and Chance were expected to last 90 Martian days at best, but after greater than 1000 Martian days on, they were still going strong.

At only 180 kg each they brought batteries, communication tools, and photovoltaic panels and used expert systems that enabled them to refuse to do what their controllers told them, if they really felt an activity would be dangerous. They lasted greater than 10 times the period initially intended and tripping across a range of greater than 10 miles of the Martian surface.

The first one to make it to the surface of Mars was the rover nicknamed Spirit. Spirit landed on Mars January 4th, 2004 in a crater 10km from the target. Spirit made several vital discoveries. From its start in the crater, it has actually found many rocks of volcanic origin and also the activity of subsurface water on these rocks. Spirit found patches of soil with a high salt material that has the tendency to be caused by the previous visibility of water. It found additionally one especially fascinating rock, nicknamed Humphrey, a volcanic-like rock formed perhaps by lava. It had actually vibrantly coloured, mineralised parts inside, that would probably be frommed from water passing over it, before or sometime after the rock was developed. This finding dispelled uncertainties from lots of researchers whether water existed or otherwise on Mars a long time in the past.

Spirit not only helped us comprehend a lot more geological and physical elements of Mars – Spirit took the first picture of Earth from the surface of another planet. Spirit also took night-time pictures of the of the moons as well as Mercury and was fortunate to capture a lunar eclipse of the Mars’ moon Phobos.

Chance, the second rover to make it to the surface of Mars, landed 21 days after Spirit on January 25th, 2004 on the other side of the red planet. Chance evaded rocks in craters probably caused by sulphite abundant sands from vaporized lakes compressed and forced to the surface and then eroded by wind as well as water. Again proof that water once existed on Mars.

The two rovers have sent back many images of the Martian surface in both grey-scale and colour. These are both lovely and scenic images. Equipped with a geological package as well as motorised rock tools, they were able to look below the surface to uncover even more than  thought possible.

All these new discoveries have boosted our space exploration expertise while at the same time enhancing the our knowledge Mars. However the questions still remain. Why did the water vanish? Did life once exist on Mars? Could human beings survive on the planet?

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There are numerous organizations working to get mankind at some point in another twenty years onto the surface of Mars. As important as it will be to find out how exactly to get there, it will likely be equally as important to actually have the ability to place foot without dying on the planet. So, as NASA preps with its Space Launch System and Orion crew ejection seat for a mission to Mars, the space agency is also working on the spacesuit astronauts will be wearing on their excursion to the Red Planet. And, if the new Z-2 prototype spacesuit is really made for that trip, it’ll ideally integrate several cutting edge technologies, including 3D printing and 3D scanning.

The fabric of the suit itself will enable greater mobility, as it will, possibly, be printed from light weight, high-durability composites. Along with enhanced freedom, this material will protect against the harsh environment of Mars. In order to make sure it fit astronauts, the space agency envisions, 3D scanning the crew and, then 3D printing in the depths of space or on the Red Planet itself. 3D printing them on the planet like other space printing suggestions, is also meant to decrease the quantity of cargo space used on the trip as are some other fascinating aspects of the suit’s design. Included in these are water evaporation systems and regenerative carbon dioxide removal for temperature and breathing regulation.

To simplify the process of proceeding to its exterior from the limits of the spacecraft, NASA has proposed a system by which astronauts crawl into the Z-2 landing modules are built into by from the back through a hatch. This removes the need for a conventional airlock, also removing the likelihood of bringing contaminants.

Read More: http://3dprintingindustry.com/news/nasa-hopes-to-3d-print-spacesuits-on-mars-61808/