TechCrunch

There’s already been plenty of talk about 3D-printing entire buildings, but those ambitions may not remain strictly earthbound for too long. According to a new report from Phys.org, the European Space Agency and partners from London-based architecture firm Foster + Partners have begun to explore the feasibility of 3D printing a life-sustaining base on the lunar surface.

Of course, lunar dust on its own wouldn’t exactly make for the best building material, prompting the parties involved to look at ways to bolster the durability of their would-be moon base. Simulated moon dust was then combined with magnesium oxide and a “binding salt” to help the concoction settle properly, and the whole process is apparently capable of working in the vacuum of space thanks to a crafty approach to extruding liquids on the lunar surface.

Early concept designs from F+P feature a large weight-bearing dome along with a “cellular…

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