[dropcap]A[/dropcap]rchitects Fosters and Partners have revealed designs for a building on the Moon that could be constructed from material already on its surface.
An inflatable structure would be transported from Earth, then covered with a shell built by 3D printers.
The printers, operated by robots, would use soil from the Moon, known as regolith, to build the layered cover.
The proposed site for the building is the southern pole of the Moon.
It is designed to house fourpeopleand could be extended, the firm said.
In 2010 a team of researchers from Washington State University found that artificial regolith containing silicon, aluminium, calcium, iron and magnesium oxide could be used by 3D printers to create solid objects.
The latest plans are the result of a collaboration between a number of organisations including the European Space Agency.
The consortium tested the practicalities of using a printer on the Moon by setting up a D-shape 3Dprinter,whichareusedtoprintvery