Smart home on the moon? NASA invests more than 25 Million

Updated: Apr 1

NASA projects extraterrestrial smart homes that allow human presence on the Moon, Mars and 'beyond' in space.

The space race continues, the missions go beyond the orbit near the Earth, the Moon and Mars, and need autonomous spaces capable of operating with or without astronauts and be prepared to welcome the expeditions at any time.

With this objective, the North American Space Agency (NASA) selected two technological research institutes to develop extraterrestrial houses. Each institution will receive 13 million euros in five years to configure space homes.

The project will be complemented with specific plans from NASA, to create the necessary technology that allows the human presence in intelligent spaces that are essential to take on the challenges of exploration.

According to Jim Reuter, one of the heads of NASA's space management, collaboration with non-agency centers allows ‘to expand research and development for both aerospace and other fields.’

The Habitats Optimized Missions of Exploration (HOME) Institute, whose acronym in English forms the word home, specializes in engineering, risk analysis and technologies aimed at creating adaptive, self-sufficient spaces for human exploration.

HOME research will be aimed at the development of autonomous systems, automated equipment, data sciences, mechanical learning, robotics and manufacturing of goods necessary for extraterrestrial houses.

This team is led by Stephen Robinson and has seven universities and Sierra Nevada technology corporations, United Technology Aerospace Systems and Blue Origin, the space company of the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, whose vision is' a future in which millions of people live and work in space.

Another selected institute is Resilient ExtraTerrestrial Habitats Institute (RETHI), which will be responsible for the design and operation of adaptive habitats that can cope with and overcome any contingency planned or not. For this, it will have experts from fields such as autonomous robotics.

RETHI will concentrate on enabling the spaces so that they can work with or without crew, for which they will create prototypes with which to test and develop the necessary functionalities of the modules.

Purdue University will contribute to the principal investigator, Shirley Dyke, who will collaborate with the homologous institutions of Harvard, Connecticut and Texas.

The two selected research centers will join others created by NASA and specialized in biotechnology and ultralight and resistant materials.

The technological development of the extraterrestrial houses is also complemented by the competition called by the same space agency for proposals for settlements on the Moon, Mars or 'beyond', created from 3D printers and which, like the development project of autonomous habitats, allow the construction of possible colonies.

This last project, won by three of the 11 companies represented (SEArch + / APIs Cor, Zopherus and Mars Incubator) rewarded the use of resources available outside our planet as well as the programming of the models, materials and construction phases. NASA itself highlights that the research carried out has current applications on Earth.

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