Bringing it Home: Finding Synergies Between Earth and Space Construction and Design



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51st International Conference on Environmental Systems


The highly specific environmental and design constraints of occupied space habitats has often isolated the efforts of systems designers to aerospace applications, leaving traditional terrestrial architects also isolated from the technological developments available in the space industry. Yet recent efforts to consider surface habitation on the Moon and Mars, as well as efforts in the Earth construction community to push for smart, sustainable, and autonomous habitats have emphasized the natural overlaps between design and construction in all built environment applications regardless of location. The same sustainable development objectives of creating safer, healthier, and more circular economies in the built environment on Earth are shared with the development of safe, healthy, and closed loop habitation systems for space. However, while there is widespread belief in these potential values, and demonstration of spin-off technologies subsequent to space applications development, the ability for space and earth systems to be co-developed simultaneously in practice is examined. This paper describes the process of creating value across multiple stakeholders in the space and earth construction and design industries. By understanding the overlaps between the language and ontologies used by the earth sector to define project objectives with those used to describe space design requirements, a series of venn diagram exercises allowed stakeholders to reveal synergies in Construction Means and Methods, Material Innovation, Human Centered Design, and Sustainable Design Strategies. Many of these overlaps are at the surface intuitive, but the formal identification of these shared values and perhaps more critically, their limitations in practice, provides insight on the potential opportunities and challenges for co-development activities across previously isolated design sectors.


Christina Ciardullo, SEArch+ LLC, US
Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, SEArch+ LLC, US
Michael Morris, SEArch+ LLC, US
Raymond Clinton, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, US
Jennifer Edmunson, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, US
Michael Fiske, Jacobs Space Exploration Group, US
ICES502: Space Architecture
The 51st International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Saint Paul, Minnesota, US, on 10 July 2022 through 14 July 2022.


space architecture, architecture, 3d printing, sustainability