The attempt initiated in 2015 as Nasa invited teams to present ideas about creating sustainable human habitats on other planets. Teams managed to turn their concepts into architectural models. During the last phase of the challenge, the teams had to present fully meticulous architectural layouts and the interior spaces of their structures that would host life on other planets.
Totally, 11 teams competed for the prize in the last stage. The winner team of the competition was SEArch+ and Apis Cor. Their design aimed to “provide radiation shielding and physical protection” and included a twisted tower with trough-shaped ports on the sides and top surface.
A team from Arkansas, Zopherus, came second introducing a design that would be realized with the usage of an autonomous roving 3D printer. The proposed shelter consists of connected modules. The rover is deployed in the extraterrestrial environment and gathers local materials to assemble the building parts.
Team Mars Incubator, a collection of engineers and artists from Connecticut won the third place. Their structure included an entrance hall, a living space, a space with multiple facilities and a bio-generation area developed for plant growth.
All teams presented videos providing information about their concepts and produced miniature 3D printed models of the interior spaces. Their efforts were evaluated by a panel of judges considering the efficiency of the interior design, the constructability of the buildings, the architectural plan, the programming and the 3D-printing scalability. Judges also took into consideration the creativity and realism of the proposals.
From May 1 to May 4, 2019, two teams will compete for a $800,000 prize. During the event, that will be held in Peoria, Illinois, the teams will print a sub-scale (1:3) model of their structures.