Architect and artist Guvenc Özel, a lecturer in the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design and director of the IDEAS technology lab for cross-disciplinary research at UCLA Arts and Architecture, led the design team that included researchers from the UCLA Department of Engineering and Material Science. The premise of the team’s entry lies in Özel’s current research at UCLA, which focuses on the application of robotics and sensors into architecture as well as collaboration with UCLA Engineering in exploring the use of composite materials in building-scale 3-D printing. In their NASA competition entry, the team proposed that — instead of 3-D printing concrete-like shells from local sand — high-performance composite shells be 3-D printed using a combination of locally harvested composite fibers soaked in fast-curing polymer resins. The proposal is a 3-D printing version of how high-performance boats, planes, satellites and spaceships are built. To check out more about this exciting project go to http://www.aud.ucla.edu/news/awarded_guvenc_ozel_613.html
I was flattered to have been invited to UCLA to meet with this elite team on behalf of MUFON and to hear firsthand their plans for winning the right to build this first ever habitat on another planet. I was even more flattered that they thought to call MUFON and ask for our help even if it was only for funding purposes. I assured them that we were fully supportive of their efforts and that I would put out the call to our members who may have an interest in funding such a venture. The price tag for Phase Two which includes building a scale model of the habitat is a mere $50,000. If you are interested in donating, please write us at email@example.com.
I for one can’t wait for us to get to Mars. By my way of thinking the sooner we get there, the sooner we may get to meet anyone who may be living there. What was it that Ray Bradbury wrote so many decades ago in his classic book, The Martian Chronicles, as the young man from Earth who was first to arrive on Mars was looking into a pool of water, and saw the reflection of a Martian starring back at him?
Now that would be cool.