Home » China to use 3D printing to construct buildings on the moon

China to use 3D printing to construct buildings on the moon

by Liam Turner
A crane in front of a string of moons at night

China will explore using 3D printing technology to construct buildings on the moon, according to China Daily.

According to publication, which quoted Wu Weiren, a scientist at the China National Space Administration, the Chang’e 8 probe will conduct on-site investigations of the environment and mineral composition.

It will also determine whether technologies such as 3D printing can be effectively deployed on the lunar surface.

Wu said: “If we wish to stay on the moon for a long time, we need to set up stations by using the moon’s own materials.”

During the 2020 Chinese lunar mission, Chang’e 5, an uncrewed probe took back to Earth China’s first lunar soil samples.

China, which made its first lunar landing in 2013, plans to land an astronaut on the moon by 2030.

Between now and then, China plans to launch the Chang’e 6, 7, and 8 missions, with Chang’e 8 tasked with searching for reusable resources on the moon for long-term human habitation.

A robot tasked with making “lunar soil bricks” will be launched during the Chang’e 8 mission around 2028, according to the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

The US has also recently been intensifying its space-exploration and lunar programmes.

Last summer, Astroport Space Technologies won its second NASA contract to 3D print on the moon.

Astroport aims to take moon dust, or ‘regolith’, and turn it into bricks and material for 3D construction printing of lunar infrastructure.

Image: Coleman Photography/Shutterstock

Read next: NASA hails new 3D-printed superalloy that could create more durable aircraft, spacecraft

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