If humanity is going to 3D-print Moon bases, it can’t afford for things to go wrong — and NASA is backing technology to make sure those parts get built. According to Parabolic Arc, the agency recently selected a project from Relativity Space (which is working on 3D-printed rockets) that could detect and fix 3D printing in real time. If production of a habitat piece or radiation shield goes awry, the technology could automatically catch defects and repair them, determine if a print is still viable or even scrap work entirely.
This is the first phase of the project, and there are still details to address. NASA is giving Relativity Space $125,000 over six months to further its work.