AI SpaceFactory was founded in February 2017 to develop the construction technologies needed to enable the future of human habitation on and beyond Earth. That same year, we embarked on the multi-phase NASA Centennial Challenge to develop the design and technologies to build on Mars—a challenge we ultimately won in May 2019.
AI SpaceFactory joined NASA's 3D Printed Habitat Challenge in its third and final phase, which required a constructed prototype of a Martian habitat. Through the challenge, we began to push the thresholds of what's possible within 3D printing technologies and Mars habitat designs and initiated the novel use of indigenous, recyclable PLA composites.
SpaceFactory was one of five designs selected from a field of seventeen teams due to our innovative designs, architectural layout, and detailed models. Our Mars habitat MARSHA marked a radical departure from previous habitat schemes typified by low-lying domes or buried structures. MARSHA stands upright and tall on the Martian surface with highly human-centric, habitable spaces tuned to the demands of a Mars mission.
Using fibers known to be found on Mars (basalt) and materials that are effective shields for radiation (PLA), we achieved our first print [TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT] a recyclable polymer composite that would outperform concrete in Martian environmental conditions.
AI SpaceFactory was announced the ultimate winner from over 60 entries into the NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, receiving the coveted $500K prize. Our 15-foot tall prototype was commended for its highly automated print and its innovative biodegradable and recyclable material that withstood NASA’s pressure, smoke, and impact tests better than its concrete competitors.
AI SpaceFactory began the TERA (short for Terrestrial-Analog) project to validate our space-technologies on Earth. An eco-friendly 3D printed dwelling made entirely with sustainable materials, TERA proves that revolutions in technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics can reduce landfill waste and our collective carbon footprint through Space-driven construction. TERA is scheduled for completion in 2020.