Made of Moon Dust: A 3D-Printed House for the Lunar South Pole

Architects have designed the first 3D-printed house for the moon, made from lunar soil.

Maybe the future has officially arrived: architects have designed a 3D-printed house for the moon, made of moon dust, that can withstand gamma rays and meteorites. London-based Foster and Partners is working with the European Space Agency on the design, which can house four people.

The architects used their experience designing for extreme environments on Earth—and using local, sustainable materials—as inspiration. Rather than bringing materials hundreds of thousands of miles for construction, the plan calls for the use of lunar soil. Only an inflatable base will be flown in by rocket, and then a robot will build the rest of the structure in lightweight layers from the soil.

Using simulated lunar soil, the team has already built a test structure in a vacuum to show that the technology can work. It's interesting to wonder how similar technology might be used on Earth to create homes from soil or other ultra-local materials.

Images courtesy of Foster + Partners