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SBIR/STTR

Planetary LEGO, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Prior to human arrival to the Moon or Mars, a certain amount of infrastructure will be required in order to ensure success of the overall goals of the mission. Such infrastructure will include some type of landing pads. In order to reduce the volume/mass of construction materials to be transported from Earth, it will be critical to utilize in-situ resources as the main construction material. Regolith seems to be the most logical choice given its abundance and easy access. The proposed technology would allow for the robotic construction of critical structures in-situ using native resources. In Phase I we therefore propose to: Determine the ideal shapes for the building blocks that will allow mechanical jointing and construction of horizontal (landing pads, roads, etc.) and vertical (habitat, shelter, etc.) structures. Manufacture the molds to fabricate these building blocks. Fine tune the sintering process (thermal profile) to ensure repeatability of the fabrication of the material. Produce prototype building blocks and test their structural properties and strength of the joints. Develop the robotic concept for making the horizontal and vertical structures. Design a horizontal and a vertical structure for fabrication during Phase II. More »

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