China is hoping to substantially reduce the raw materials it needs to build lunar bases by relying on 3D printing.
According to a report by China Daily, China plans to use the Chang’e 8 lunar mission to investigate the possibility of using 3D printing to construct buildings and bases. If the experiment is successful, it could be a game-changer for lunar base construction, as one of the biggest challenges is bringing the necessary materials to construct a long-term facility.
“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,” said Wu Weiren, a leading scientist at the China National Space Administration.
“Lunar soil will be our raw material and it will be printed into construction units. Professors at several domestic universities, such as Tongji University in Shanghai and Xi’an Jiaotong University in Shaanxi province, have already begun studying the possible applications of 3D printing technology on the moon,” he said.