Moon Base Visions: How to Build a Lunar Colony (Photos)

Lunar Base by Foster + Partners

ESA/Foster + Partners

In this artist's rendering, a 3D printing robot pours layer after layer of hardened lunar dirt and dust onto an inflatable dome shell, 3D printing a lunar base.

Lunar Base With Linked Domes

ESA/Foster + Partners

The possible lunar base designed by Foster + Partners would have room enough for four moon residents at a time.

Lunar Base With Earthrise

ESA/Foster + Partners

An artist's illustration of what a base on the moon might look like. The European Space Agency is investigating the possibility of 3D printing lunar habitats.

Monolite D-Shape Printer for ESA's Lunar Base


ESA and partners used this 3D printer to print a piece of the possible lunar home.

NASA Chief: Moon Base Must Precede Mars Mission


Spacesuit engineer Dustin Gohmert simulates work in a crater of Johnson Space Center's Lunar Yard, while his ride, NASA's new lunar truck prototype, stands ready in the background. The rover has the ability to lower itself all the way to the ground, making climbing on and off easy -- even in a bulky spacesuit.

Private Moon Bases Planned

Bigelow Aerospace

Space entrepreneur Robert Bigelow (left) discusses layout plans of the company's lunar base with Eric Haakonstad, one of the Bigelow Aerospace lead engineers.

Instant Moonbases

Bigelow Aerospace

Bigelow Aerospace engineers see an instant moon base by using a cluster of expandable modules that are piloted to the moon's surface.

Lunar Observatories: Grand Plans vs. Clear Problems


This illustration shows in-space robots assembling a large structure.

Lunar Extraction Minerals Ice Moon Base


Pit stop, the moon! Lunar extraction of minerals and ice are envisioned as near-term objectives for space mining advocates.

Tackling Moondust for Future Lunar Living


An artist's illustration of NASA's Altair Lander on the moon, which formed part of the now-cancelled Constellation program for lunar exploration.

Mosaic of the Lunar South Pole


The European Space Agency and a consortium of industry professionals investigated the feasibility of using 3D printing to build a lunar base.

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Miriam Kramer
Staff Writer

Miriam Kramer joined as a Staff Writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also served as's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person. Miriam is currently a space reporter with Axios, writing the Axios Space newsletter. You can follow Miriam on Twitter.