ESA To Build “Moon Village” by 2030

A conference in Noorwijk Netherlands, the European Space Agency shared their ambitions to build a space base on the Moon by 2030 using 3D printers. The announcement is sending a new found positive energy throughout Europe.

The “moon village” will be built using 3D-printed structures and regolith, a naturally occurring material on the Moon that would shield the base from radiation. The mission would see robots set up shop on the moon first, eventually paving the way for a human colony.

Kathy Laurini of NASA told, “The timing is right to get started on the capabilities which allow Europe to meet its exploration objectives and ensure it remains a strong partner as humans begin to explore the solar system. The ESA space exploration strategy sets the Moon as a priority destination for humans on the way to Mars.”

A D-shaped 3D printer
A D-shaped 3D printer, similar to one that may be used in the lunar base mission. Image credit: European Space Agency

The settlement will most likely be located in the south pole region, which would provide an almost unlimited supply of solar energy and protect the colony from extreme temperature swings. The base of the colony would likely be built first using robotics and a D-shaped 3D printer. A modular structure would then be brought in (built mostly by a 3D printer as well), possibly as part of a crewed mission.

The plan was shared at a symposium entitled “Moon 2020-2030: A New Era of Coordinated Human and Robotic Exploration,” in front of more than 200 scientists and space agency officials. ESA has discussed the possibility of a 3D printed colony on the moon in the past, but this is the first time they have set out specifics. If everything goes to plan, the mission could be completed by 2030.


By Skup

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