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The 3D printer company MakerBot in Brooklyn, New York and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have teamed up to launch the MakerBot Mars Base Challenge. The 3D printing contest seeks innovative ideas for a habitat that could support a crew of astronauts on the surface of the Red Planet. The Red Planet, at least in its current state, is hostile to life as we know it. It is frigid, prone to dust storms and bombarded with dangerous cosmic rays. To survive, future astronauts will need a sturdy, utilitarian home — perhaps made out of parts from a 3D printer, for on-the-spot construction.
A 3D printing Mars challenge
The MakerBot Mars Base Challenge is now open and accepting submissions until the end of the day on June 12. All entries must be uploaded to the Mars Base Challenge website Thingiverse.com, an open-source website for design ideas, with the hashtag #MakerBotMars. Winners will be awarded MakerBot products, with the 1st-prize winner receiving a Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. As of June 5, there were 66 proposals submitted, many of them using some combination of dome-covered modules.