A robotic fabrication technology called Contour Crafting, created by USC engineering professor Behrokh Khoshnevis, could be used to construct structures on the moon. Remotely. Like with robots. On THE MOON. The technology, which sounds more or less like a scaled-up version of the rapid prototyping machines now building models with CAD/CAM software, has been in development for almost a decade. In the past, Professor Khoshnevis has said that, when ready, the technology could build a 2,000 square foot house with utilities in 24 hours.
Now comes the out of this world news from USC School of Architecture's PARAsite blog that Professor Khoshnevis, with architecture professors Anders Carlson and Neil Leach and astronautics professor Madhu Thangavelu "have completed their first visualization for their NASA research grant into the potential use of Contour Crafting robotic fabrication technology to build structures on the Moon." The robot would print structures, one layer at a time, "using lunar concrete composed of regolith from the surface of the Moon."
PARAsite says it best: "Contour Crafting was recently voted one of the top 15 innovations most likely to change the World. The question now being addressed is how it will change the Moon."
· Contour Crafting [Official Site]
· USC on the Moon [PARAsite]
· Home, Sweet Home [USC News]