Peoria, IL - April, 15, 2019 - In the final level of competition for NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, three teams will combine creativity and cutting-edge technology to manufacture sustainable shelters for deep-space habitation, including the Moon and Mars.

The teams competing in Phase 3, Level 5 of the challenge are:

  • AI. SpaceFactory of New York
  • Colorado School of Mines / ICON of Golden
  • Pennsylvania State University of College Park

Bradley University is the exclusive educational partner with NASA on the 3D-Printed Habitat ChallengeCaterpillar Inc. is a sponsor and site host. Bradley and Caterpillar – with NASA support – will host a three-day event alongside the competition at the same facility. Educators, middle- and high-school students are invited May 2-3 to hear presentations by astronauts, tour exhibits and watch the competition in the arena. A Community Day with the same activities will be open to the public May 4.

The challenge, which began in 2015, is structured in phases, each with multiple levels. It has a total prize purse of $3.15 million, with $800,000 to be awarded at this final stage. Teams will use several facets of 3D printing – including modeling software and material development – to construct large-scale structures using recyclables and/or materials found on the Moon, Mars or other destinations. Technologies developed for use on the Moon could help with future robotic and human missions to Mars, as well as offer benefits on Earth, like lower-cost housing solutions. 

Media are invited to watch as the participating teams 3D-print subscale habitats May 1-4 at Caterpillar Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center in Edwards, Illinois. Habitat testing and the awards ceremony will take place May 4. NASA subject matter experts will be available for interviews. Portions of the competition will also be livestreamed May 3-4 at nasa.gov/live.

Schedule of events (all times are CDT):

Wednesday, May 1

  • First day of competition from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Teams will begin printing their habitat structures in the arena

Thursday, May 2

  • Second day of competition from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Teams will continue printing their structures
  • Bradley University and Caterpillar will host an Education Day for middle-school students
  • NASA astronaut Don Thomas will speak and be available for interviews

Friday, May 3

  • Third day of competition from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Teams will finish printing their structures
  • Bradley University and Caterpillar will host an Education Day for high school students
  • NASA astronauts Don Thomas and Scott Altman will speak and be available for interviews
  • NASA subject matter experts will be available for interviews

Saturday, May 4

  • Testing on the structures will be held from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Bradley University and Caterpillar will host a Community Day, with more than 600 visitors expected to attend
  • NASA astronaut Scott Altman will speak and be available for interviews from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • NASA subject matter experts will be available for interviews
  • The awards ceremony will be at 3:30 p.m.
  • Teams and other challenge personnel will be available for interviews after the ceremony

News media interested in attending the events should contact Renee Charles at rcharles@fsmail.bradley.edu or 309-677-3260 by Friday, April 19.

The 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge is managed through a partnership with NASA’s Centennial Challenges program and Bradley University. Bradley has partnered with sponsors CaterpillarBechtelBrick & Mortar Ventures and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to administer the competition. NASA’s Centennial Challenges program is part of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, and is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

For more information about the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/3DPHab