It's been 54 years since humans first set foot on the moon. Now, NASA is planning to put homes on its dusty surface, taking a giant leap toward establishing a permanent human presence beyond Earth.
According to The New York Times, NASA has set its sights on building houses on the moon by 2040. The housing subdivision will be for astronauts and civilians.
To accomplish this, NASA plans to send a massive 3D printer to the moon. The printer will use lunar concrete, made from moon rocks, mineral fragments and dust, to build structures layer by layer.
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NASA is partnering with Austin, Texas-based construction technology company ICON in pursuit of this objective. In 2022, NASA awarded a $57.2 million contract to ICON to develop technologies that could help build infrastructure like landing pads, habitats and roads on the lunar surface.
While NASA hasn't sent humans to the moon in a while, it is preparing for a comeback. The Artemis II mission, with four crew members, is set to orbit the moon in November 2024. A year after that, Artemis III aims to land humans on the lunar surface again.
NASA has not revealed the potential price for civilian visitors interested in a lunar getaway. But on Earth, housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable.
America's Housing Crisis
The Federal Reserve has implemented significant interest rate hikes since March 2022 to combat rampant inflation. While high-interest rates can cool the housing market, they also lead to bigger mortgage payments.
According to The State of the Nation's Housing 2023 report from Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, the annual income needed to afford payments on a median-priced home in the U.S. is now $117,100, up nearly $20,000 from last year.
And that means millions of households are now priced out of the market.
"The number of renter households able to afford these higher payments shrunk by 32%, from 7.5 million to 5.1 million, a loss of 2.4 million potential homebuyers," the Harvard researchers said.
Some believe that investor purchases are exacerbating the housing crisis.
Earlier this year, the Word Economic Forum published an article titled "How to fix America's broken housing market," in which authors Bruce Katz and Ben Preis analyzed the effects of investor purchases in three mid-sized American cities.
"These investors range from large-scale institutional entities to smaller mom-and-pop landlords who own only a few properties. These investor purchases in the housing market are making the buying process more difficult, crowding out first-time and first-generation homeowners," they wrote.
More recently, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. suggested that corporations are the problem.
“The real reason that housing has outpaced anything else is because there are three giant corporations: BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street,” Kennedy said at a recent event in Los Angeles.
He said that these three companies already own 88% of the S&P 500, and now they are coming after single-family homes in America.
Corporations can secure financing for real estate at costs 30% less than the richest people in the country, Kennedy said. This gives them a significant advantage over typical American homebuyers.
"So they can outbid you, and they can outbid your children. Our families are now competing against these companies, which are trying to buy every single-family home," he said.
Since the beginning of 2020, the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index has increased by 46%.
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This article NASA Plans To Build Houses On The Moon By 2040 While America Ponders Its Own Housing Crisis originally appeared on Benzinga.com
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