NASA and America Makes: National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute have created a three-dimensional printing contest aimed at helping the space agency design and build new systems for inhabiting deep space.
The 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge is created through the agency’s Centennial Challenges Program and offers up to $2.25 million in prizes, NASA said Saturday.
The competition’s first phase will run through Sept. 27 and focus on the development of space habitation models with 3D printers.
Phase two is divided into two categories and will challenge participants to build structural fabrication technologies and full-scale habitats using indigenous and recyclable materials.
NASA aims to deliver 3D printing machines for astronauts to build shelters on the surface of Mars or other deep-space destinations.
The agency believes the technology could also help people construct houses in remote areas where building materials are limited.