COVID-19 changes the terms of TERA project

TERA, 3-D printing, COVID-19, pandemic in USA

Quarantine restrictions imposed over the spread of COVID-19 prevented the AI SpaceFactory team from following the TERA project schedule.

As we informed our audience before, AI SpaceFactory team, a winner of NASA’s 3D Printing Habitat Challenge for Mars exploration, launched a project on the Earth. Using their biopolymer basalt composite (the material for the future Mars habitat), the company started building an eco-friendly holiday home.

It will be located in the upstate New York. Apart from a comfortable and luxurious interior, the guests could enjoy a stunning view of green forests and the Hudson River.

People use space technologies to build strong and sustainable houses. When their life-cycle comes to the end, the materials used in their construction can be recycled. The project has raised funds on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform. The fund-raising went beyond expectations.

The project team were developing solutions that ensure high quality of the material without compromising robot mobility in harsh conditions of rainfalls and low temperatures. That helped to test both the technology and construction of the future Martian habitat.

It was COVID-19 that made the company disrupt schedule. The project was temporarily suspended because of the pandemic risks. AI SpaceFactory team appealed to everyone who booked accommodation and funded the project:

As you know the AI SpaceFactory team live and work in the heart of the world’s current epicenter of the COVID pandemic – New York. The team and our families are safe and well, but because of social distancing and work-from-home restrictions put in place last month, we’ve had to temporarily stop test printing and focus on work we can do from a distance. We never expected something of this scale to interrupt our operations to this extent, but know that we are doing everything we can to make TERA happen.

We know this makes a lot of you nervous. It makes us nervous, too. We want to be back up and running and have TERA ready for you, even though we’re subject to New York City’s restrictions and a pandemic that is bigger than all of us. As we’re sure you’ve heard, New York is under extreme duress. With doctors and nurses in New York battling COVID on a daily basis, without enough supplies or hospital beds, building right now is a risk that affects more than our team. The best thing we (and all of us) can do right now is – stay home, follow the mandates, and stay safe.

Currently, shelter in place restrictions are mandated in New York until April 30, but we expect this to be extended through May, with periodic mandates thereafter to shelter in place for shorter periods over the next two years to prevent a resurgence of the scale we’re seeing right now.

Though we expected to start printing in March with an opening date in late Summer/ early Fall, the restrictions in place from the pandemic will extend this timeline by at least one season. The full delays won’t be known until the first wave of the pandemic calms down, and we’re given information on what’s next.

This will disrupt our timeline and booking in an unpredictable ways, meaning our booking platform can’t be opened until we have more information. But rest assured we will be back up and running with better updates to share as soon as possible.

We hope you are all safe and well in this time. Stay home. Stay safe. Follow the mandates. Let’s get through this together.


The AI SpaceFactory team

We are looking forward to the news from the TERA team about project revival. All in all, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the whole world, and the organizers of JEC World in Paris, who first had planned to hold the event in 2020, changed their mind and postponed to the next year.


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