BIG unveils sustainable, 3D-printed lunar igloos for Moon exploration

October 29, 2020 by  
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As part of its Plan for Sustained Lunar Exploration and Development , NASA has teamed up with architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group , advanced construction developer ICON and SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture) to design Project Olympus, a system of space-based construction to support future exploration of the Moon. Developed with technology that ICON submitted to NASA’s 2018 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, the proposed lunar habitats would be 3D-printed using robotic, zero-waste construction for a reduced carbon footprint.  Bjarke Ingels Group is no stranger to extraterrestrial architecture — Project Olympus is the firm’s second project in outer space after its Mars Science City proposal, which is currently being turned into a prototype in Dubai. Much like the Mars building project, BIG’s Project Olympus proposal also addresses eight of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. According to the Artemis program, NASA plans to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 for lunar exploration and research, which will inform future missions to Mars. Related: NASA Mars Habitat Challenge winner is a 3D-printed pod made of biodegradable materials The ambitious Project Olympus will cover a wide array of architecture, from landing pads to habitats, that would be built with robust construction rather than metal or inflatable structures. The team will work in collaboration with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama to test lunar soil simulant with ICON’s groundbreaking robotic technologies and develop prototype elements. The goal will be the creation of the first permanent structure on the Moon that’s not only capable of withstanding the hostile lunar environment but would also become a learning opportunity for creating more sustainable construction on Earth as well. “To explain the power of architecture, ‘formgiving’ is the Danish word for design, which literally means to give form to that which has not yet been given form,” Bjarke Ingels said. “This becomes fundamentally clear when we venture beyond Earth and begin to imagine how we are going to build and live on entirely new worlds. With ICON we are pioneering new frontiers — both materially, technologically and environmentally. The answers to our challenges on Earth very well might be found on the Moon.”  + Bjarke Ingels Group Images via Bjarke Ingels Group

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BIG unveils sustainable, 3D-printed lunar igloos for Moon exploration

Gore, Gates funds lead $80M round for protein startup born in Yellowstone hot springs

March 24, 2020 by  
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Nature’s Fynd, formerly Sustainable Bioproducts, started as a NASA research project. It begins production this month at a facility in Chicago’s old stockyard district.

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Gore, Gates funds lead $80M round for protein startup born in Yellowstone hot springs

Breathe: a special performance by Cassandra Lewis

November 6, 2019 by  
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Breathe deep and watch this special performance by Bay-Area singer/songwriter, Cassandra Lewis of The Foxxtones, with saxophone accompaniment by Chris Hoog of Afrolicious, featuring visuals from NASA.

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Breathe: a special performance by Cassandra Lewis

Tara O’Shea, Rebecca Moore and Carlos Souza on NextGenMap and forest monitoring

November 6, 2019 by  
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On a panel moderated by Tara O’Shea (Planet), Rebecca Moore (Google) and Carlos Souza (Imazon) converse about NextGenMap’s ability to revolutionize our abilities to monitor forests. Historically, monitoring forests and land-use change has involved a compromise between the resolution and frequency of available satellite images and limited computing capacity for analysis. Recent developments in satellite imagery, machine learning and land use classification offer new opportunities to disrupt these limitations.

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Tara O’Shea, Rebecca Moore and Carlos Souza on NextGenMap and forest monitoring

NASA Mars Habitat Challenge winner is a 3D-printed pod made of biodegradable materials

May 17, 2019 by  
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Multi-planetary architectural firm  AI Space Factory has been awarded first place in the NASA Centennial Challenge with its innovative 3D-printed design , MARSHA. The 15-foot-tall, pod-like design was digitally printed using a base of biodegradable and recyclable basalt composite derived from natural materials found on Mars. Not only does the concept envision a sustainable and resilient design that could meet all the demands of a Mars mission, but the interior living space would be modern and bright, complete with indoor gardens. The New York-based company managed to beat out 60 challengers that submitted designs for NASA’s Centennial Challenge, which looks for sustainable housing concepts for deep space exploration, including Mars . The MARSHA habitat was designed specifically with the desolate Martian landscape in mind, but it could be potentially viable for any environment. Related: Martian tiny home prototype champions zero waste and self sufficiency The prototype was built out of an innovative mixture of basalt fiber extracted from Marian rock and renewable, plant-based bioplastic, with three robotically placed windows. The materials used in the construction not only stood up to NASA’s pressure, smoke and impact testing, but the structure was actually found to be stronger and more durable than its concrete competitors. In contrast to most designs created for Mars, MARSHA is a vertical shape comprised of various levels. The interior spaces are designated by floor, with everything needed to stay indoors for extended periods of time if necessary. Living and working spaces would feature a “human-centric” design that would see modern yet comfortable spaces lit by diffused light. There would also be ample space for indoor gardens . CEO and founder of AI SpaceFactory David Malott explained that the inspiration behind MARSHA was to design a resilient structure that would be sustainable for years to come. “We developed these technologies for space, but they have the potential to transform the way we build on Earth,” Malott said. “By using natural, biodegradable materials grown from crops, we could eliminate the building industry’s massive waste of unrecyclable concrete and restore our planet.” + AI Space Factory Via Archdaily Images via AI Space Factory

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NASA Mars Habitat Challenge winner is a 3D-printed pod made of biodegradable materials

Inside Planet’s mission to see change and change the world using miniature satellites

January 24, 2019 by  
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How former NASA scientists are reimaging the world, from one, static photo to an entirely new, constantly updating, global data set.

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Inside Planet’s mission to see change and change the world using miniature satellites

Kiverdi CEO Lisa Dyson seeks to extract value from CO2

November 28, 2018 by  
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With inspiration from NASA, her startup is brewing up solutions to recycle CO2 into an array of useful products.

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Kiverdi CEO Lisa Dyson seeks to extract value from CO2

The hidden vulnerability in our transportation infrastructure

November 28, 2018 by  
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The latest government report on climate change gives new insight into the state of our transit system.

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The hidden vulnerability in our transportation infrastructure

Planning a successful TCFD project: Climate strategy

November 28, 2018 by  
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Four key concepts: governance, strategy, risk management and internal control. Part Two of a three-part series.

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Planning a successful TCFD project: Climate strategy

Previously stable zones of Antarctica are now falling victim to climate change

August 1, 2018 by  
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Unlike its counterpart, West Antarctica, which has long been decimated by melting ice caps, East Antarctica used to be a safe zone – something scientists could depend on as a constant while they solved the more pressing destruction in the western part of the continent. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. According to  research unveiled last week in the journal  Geophysical Research Letters , despite the higher elevation and colder temperatures found in the eastern portion of the Antarctic continent, warm ocean currents and rising global temperatures are now destabilizing two of its glaciers. The research has chronicled the lives of two glaciers in the coldest region on Earth for the past 15 years. These glaciers shield the Eastern zone’s land ice, descending from the ice directly toward the sea. This creates a naturally formed dam that, if disturbed, would affect the ice that covers the rest of the region by subjecting it to the warming ocean waters. The melting of these two massive glaciers alone would raise sea levels more than 16 feet (five meters), undoubtedly compromising the rest of the territory. In an interview with Earther , Yara Mohajerani, lead expert in the study and PhD candidate at the University of California, explained, “The East Antarctic ice sheet contains much more ice and sea level potential than any other ice sheet by far, making it of crucial global significance.” Past research has shown the disappearance of similar glaciers in the East Antarctic region when carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have reached levels comparable to those found today as a result of human activities. Related: Scientists uncover giant canyons under the ice in Antarctica Scientists believe that, due to the circulation of warm ocean water under the two glaciers, they’ve been losing mass for quite some time. To help quantify the losses, NASA provided the researchers with its Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite, which measures small changes in gravity. GRACE collected data from 2002 to 2017, and the new study reveals that the glaciers are losing 18.5 gigatons of ice each year, or the equivalent of 7.4 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. While this is minuscule in comparison to losses in the rest of Antarctica, the location of these glaciers makes their survival central to the discussion of East Antarctica’s stability and, therefore, the state of the continent as a whole. + Geophysical Research Letters Via Earther

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Previously stable zones of Antarctica are now falling victim to climate change

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