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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

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

NASA Chief: Moon Base Must Precede Mars Mission

NASA

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

NASA

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

Lunar Extraction Minerals Ice Moon Base

NASA

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

NASA

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

ESA

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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