Manned exploration calls for a return to the Moon, requiring the construction of structures for habitation, challenging the engineer and the astronauts that must erect the structure. Most concepts depict second and third generation facilities. It is more important to be able to erect the FIRST lunar structure. Given the costs associated with bringing material to the Moon, what is the best way to construct habitable structures on the lunar surface? The “grand vision” presented here is the design of a layered manufacturing machine that operates under solar power and will construct the structure in advance of astronaut arrival. This paper is a reduced version of a proposed study submitted in 2006 to NIAC (NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts), which no longer exists. We are working on these ideas presently. The parts of this paper that discuss the specific “igloo” structure is almost completed based on the work reported in Ruess, Schänzlin and Benaroya  and in full detail in Ruess .
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)