NASA's Mars Surface Simulated Habitat

NASA's Mars Surface Simulated Habitat


Icon 3d prints the first simulated Mars surface habitat for NASA, designed by Big-Bjarke Ingels Group. Mars Dune Alpha, the 3D-printed habitat located at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, will aid in long-duration science missions.

ICON, developer of advanced construction technologies including robotics, software, and building materials, announced it has been awarded a subcontract through Jacobs supporting NASA’s The Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA) to deliver a 3D-printed habitat, known as Mars Dune Alpha, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. ICON’s next-gen Vulcan construction system will complete a 1,700 square-foot structure, designed by world-renowned architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, that will simulate a realistic Mars habitat to support long-duration, exploration-class space missions.

CHAPEA is a sequence of three one-year Mars surface mission simulations at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. The analog missions will provide valuable insights and information to assess NASA’s space food system, as well as physical and behavioral health and performance outcomes for future space missions. NASA will use research from the Mars Dune Alpha simulations to inform risk and resource trades to support crew health and performance for future missions to Mars when astronauts would live and work on the Red planet for long periods of time.

Future space exploration habitats have the potential to be 3D printed with additive construction technology to eliminate the need to launch large quantities of building materials on multiple flights, which is cost prohibitive...


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