Resilient ExtraTerrestrial Habitat Engineering (RETH)
The creation of safe and comfortable habitations is one of humankind’s oldest activities. Millennia of experimentation and planning have brought the creation and maintenance of habitats on Earth to a high degree of sophistication. However, humankind is now faced with new challenges as we begin to move beyond the Earth’s relatively benign surface and out into Space. Beyond the protection of Earth’s atmosphere, future space explorers and colonists face new challenges stemming from the lack of air pressure, oxygen, wild temperature fluctuations and hazards such as meteoroid impacts and intense particle radiation. Countering these challenges to provide livable conditions in Space will require the highest applications of engineering and technology. The goal of this project is to develop the expertise needed to address the grand challenge of permanent human settlements outside Earth.
Any human settlement in space will require excavation, construction and transportation of large masses of material from one place to another. Accomplishing these tasks in the Space environment, on nearly or completely airless bodies with less gravity than the Earth such as the Moon, Mars or asteroids is not beyond our current capabilities, but will require extensive planning combined with both theoretical and experimental studies long before we even begin to construct in situ pilot projects.
Project website: https://www.purdue.edu/reth/
Faculty Investigators: Antonio Bobet, Shirley Dyke, Jay Melosh, Julio Ramirez
Graduate Students: Daniel Gomez
Sponsor: Purdue University Office of the Provost