By Mayurakshi Ghosal
Behrokh Khoshnevis and The National Aeronautics and Space Administration have joined hands to work towards a 3-D printed habitat on Mars. As CNN writes, this 3-D printing idea placed first in NASA’s In-Situ Materials challenge, where the work towards building a habitat in Mars kicked off. Out of 165 designs, Khoshnevis and his team’s Ice House design was chosen by NASA to be further developed.
According to USC News, Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis is a Dean’s Professor of Industrial and System Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Astronautics Engineering, and the director for the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering.
As per CNN, Khoshnevis experimented in making 3D printed structures by using his own pocket money to buy materials that were very similar to the Martian materials. His aim was to make 3D printed structures out of materials on Mars, instead of using Earth’s materials, since transporting such materials would require huge sums of money. One of the obstacles of the process of using in-situ materials, is the transportation of the technology that would print such structures. The technology has to be built extremely accurately, keeping in mind the exact size and weight that it would need to travel safely in the rocket to Mars.
As USC News writes, Khoshnevis developed a 3D printing process called the Selective Separation Sintering (SSS). According to an article about the SSS, some advantages of this process are that it prints faster and is cheaper than the other methods of 3D printing, like selective melting, or selective sintering. It also promotes high quality printing, which could make the habitat on Mars more secure.
Overall, this idea proposed by Behrokh Khoshnevis and promoted by NASA, has inspired other nations to invest in making Mars another planet with life. According to Gulf News, the UAE recently declared its plan about building the first city on Mars by 2117! Looking at the impact Khoshnevis’ idea has made on technology and on the people, it is no doubt that most countries in the world will start to adopt this 3D printing method soon, and will strive to make life on Mars possible.