If You Want to Live on Mars, You'll Need a Robot
While NASA is preparing participants for their journey to Mars, other companies have been competing and pitching ideas for habitable living spaces on the Red Planet. Many have been testing the conditions of Mars and considering the likelihood of materials that could be shipped in the rocket alongside the passengers. Among some of the better suggestions are shipping prefabricated homes or using 3D printers. The best suggestion so far is using a robot that can autonomously complete an entire house using 3D printers.
While some may argue that humans should be a part of the home building experience, there are numerous reasons why they actually shouldn't be involved. One of the largest obstacles with humans building homes in space is that there would still have to be a dwelling for them to stay while constructing their permanent residency. They'd also need their own food supply during the construction process and would be facing the dangerous elements of space such as meteorites and exposure to radiation.
So instead of creating hazardous conditions for humans, companies are suggesting the use of 3D printed robots to build the homes. The robots have already proved to be capable of such tasks on earth with the numerous amounts of 3D printed homes, and brick laying robots, so moving them to complete a similar task in space seems logical.
In addition to being more efficient, using a robot to construct homes more importantly saves weight from the rocket. When launching into space it's essential to avoid unnecessary weight since the further you travel in space the less the rockets are able to carry. So instead of loading the rocket with the materials for building homes they could be sent in separate shipments so that the launch rocket with , it could focus on other important elements like food and water.
While there are currently no robots creating houses in space, the plans are moving fast. Multiple agencies have proposed 3D printing technology for space, and have submitted innovative designs like the Ice Shell house that is shown above. One company however, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) seems to be the most promising since the company has already created proposals to use robots to build habits suitable for four to six people on the Moon by 2030, and Mars by 2040.
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