Mars Ice House Wins NASA's 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge

Posted on October 4, 2015

The Mars Ice House design has won NASA's 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge. Participants were challenged to develop architectural concepts that take advantage of 3-D printing technology. The competition received over 165 entries.

The Mars Ice House was designed by Team Space Exploration Architecture and Clouds Architecture Office of New York, NY. They were awarded $25,000. The Mars Ice House has a website at with more photos and information. The designers say the structure "draws on the abundance of water and persistently low temperatures in Mars' northern latitudes to create a multi-layered pressurized radiation shell of ice that encloses a lander habitat and gardens within."

Team Gamma came in second place for their habitat design pictured above. It is described as a semi-autonomous multi-robot regolith additive manufacturing (RAM) system. Third place went to Team LavaHive for their design pictured below. LavaHive is a modular, additive-manufactured Martian habitat design relying on a new construction technique called "lava-casting."

A look at the designs by the top 30 highest-scoring entries can be found here on Tumblr.

Centennial Challenges Program Manager Monsi Roman says in a statement, "The creativity and depth of the designs we've seen have impressed us. These teams were not only imaginative and artistic with their entries, but they also really took into account the life-dependent functionality our future space explorers will need in an off-Earth habitat."

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