Foster + Partners have joined up with the European Space Agency to test the feasibility of creating structures on the Moon.

The European Space Agency has partnered with a number of groups including architects Foster + Partners to test whether structures could be 3D printed on the Moon using lunar soil. In the future, this could offer a simpler way of facilitating lunar settlement using local materials.

Foster + Partners designed a weight-bearing ‘catenary' dome with a cellular structured wall to protect against micrometeoroids and space radiation, and a pressurised inflatable to shelter astronauts.

UK firm Monolite supplied a D-Shape printer, with a mobile printing array of nozzles on a six meter frame to spray a binding solution onto a sand-like building material that built up layer by layer. Monolite founder Enrico Dini explains:

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