NASA Plans To Build Homes For Humans On The Moon By 2040

The US space agency will send a 3D printer to the moon that will use the lunar dust to create concrete to build the houses.

NASA Plans To Build Homes For Humans On The Moon By 2040

NASA has partnered with ICON, a construction company, to realise the ambitious dream.

American space agency NASA plans to build houses on the moon, according to a report in New York Times (NYT). Half a century after the Apollo 17 mission, when astronauts spent 75 hours on the lunar surface, the agency wants a longer stay. Though some experts believe that NASA's timeline is ambitious, the US outlet spoke to half a dozen scientists who said that 2040 goal for lunar structures is attainable. NASA's plan is to send a 3D printer to the moon and then build structures.

The printer will use concrete made out of rock chips and mineral fragments from the top layer of the moon's cratered surface, the NYT report said.

"We're at a pivotal moment, and in some ways it feels like a dream sequence. In other ways, it feels like it was inevitable that we would get here," Niki Werkheiser, NASA's director of technology maturation, told the outlet.

The space agency is relying on the latest technology and partnerships with universities and private companies.

"We've got all the right people together at the right time with a common goal, which is why I think we'll get there," Ms Werkheiser said.

"Everyone is ready to take this step together, so if we get our core capabilities developed, there's no reason it's not possible," she added.

The 3D printer is currently being tested before it is sent to the moon in February, 2024, said Fortune.

But before that, NASA has to successfully send astronauts to the Earth's satellite in Artemis 2 mission that is scheduled to take off next year, more than a year after its predecessor - Artemis 1 - blasted off from Kennedy Space Centre with only robots on board. The first lunar mission circled the moon and returned safely to earth.

Artemis 2 will have four human crew members. In either 2025 or 2026, the Artemis 3 mission will land on the lunar South Pole, with the assistance of SpaceX's Starship, returning humans to the surface, said the Fortune report.