Latest News

Adventures of an interplanetary architect | Xavier De Kestelier

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn

How will we live elsewhere in the galaxy? On Earth, natural resources for creating structures are abundant, but sending these materials up with us to the Moon or Mars is clunky and cost-prohibitive. Enter architect Xavier De Kestelier, who has a radical plan to use robots and space dust to 3D print our interplanetary homes. Learn more about the emerging field of space architecture with this fascinating talk about the (potentially) not-too-distant future.

Check out more TED Talks:

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more.

Follow TED on Twitter:
Like TED on Facebook:

Subscribe to our channel:

45 Comments on Adventures of an interplanetary architect | Xavier De Kestelier

  1. Mehemmed Veliyev // 11th January 2018 at 4:25 pm // Reply


  2. Linus Brendel // 11th January 2018 at 4:27 pm // Reply


  3. Linus Brendel // 11th January 2018 at 4:28 pm // Reply

    He looks like Ollie from Mumbo Jumbo.

  4. Daniel Alcântara // 11th January 2018 at 4:39 pm // Reply

    The distance from Earth to Mars is 400.000.000??huehuehue

  5. What happens if one of the rovers breaksdown/dies on the structure how will it be moved to allow the others to keep building up layers?

  6. i built a faster than light space ship out of lego bricks! can i do a ted talk?

  7. Aritra Sur Roy // 11th January 2018 at 4:44 pm // Reply

    This is a very interesting project from the perspective of any engineer.
    Gotta admit, nice solution to the problem they’ve come up with.

  8. Dara Stardust // 11th January 2018 at 4:46 pm // Reply

    As an architecture student an space enthusiast…. this video made my year.

  9. slipknotsk8ter89 // 11th January 2018 at 4:46 pm // Reply

    What if we plant some bases on the moon for a quicker signal speed to mars?

    • Not only that, consider how often the Moon revolves around the Earth, you’d have signal occlusion with the Earth in the way of the signal between the Moon and Mars pretty often, which is not something any controller would like. Which is i would seem like the only other alternatives would be to have an AI operated swarm like the speaker suggested, or the even more challenging option of having a space station orbiting Mars, in areostationary orbit, which is a geostationary orbit equivalent for Mars, or other options of signal relay.

    • It wouldn’t help much, because the signal is limited by the speed of light. It would still need to travel the same distance, at the same speed, but with an intermediary stop. But there are benefits with having relay stations, as signals can degrade over time, so if you send a signal over a smaller distance, for it to be retransmitted, without any degradation to the signal. However, the moon wouldn’t be an ideal relay, both because the earth moon distance is pretty small (in astronomical terms), and the moon is orbiting the Earth, meaning that the moon will not always be aligned properly to get a signal to Mars. You would ideally have several satellites in solar orbit, with multiple satellites in the same orbit at different positions, with several orbits so that there are always several relay satellites in between Earth and Mars.

    • slipknotsk8ter89 // 11th January 2018 at 5:24 pm // Reply

      Yea the moon orbiting Earth certainly presents its problems; seems like having satellites orbiting Mars would be the safest bet.

    • Isaiah Schwartz // 11th January 2018 at 10:09 pm // Reply

      slipknotsk8ter89 it wouldn’t be viable since at some times it may be closer to mars than earth is, which is good and would decreases the time taken, which is pretty small. But the problem is that sometimes the moon is on the other side of earth and that would make it take longer for it to send data to mars than to do it from earth. Sometimes, earth would get completely in the way of the moon and mars connection and the moon couldn’t send messages to mars at all.

    • Oneli Hewawithana // 11th January 2018 at 11:23 pm // Reply

      it would be easier to plant a base on a martian moon, therefore decreasing the signal speed to mars. it should only take a few minutes to do so

  10. Decode Channel // 11th January 2018 at 4:49 pm // Reply

    Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for mankind to keep all its eggs in. What do you think?

    • Dr. José Angel Bohórquez Rodríguez // 11th January 2018 at 6:33 pm // Reply

      Decode Channel, what is small and fragile is the human brain. If human beings always act in everything, from 100% rational way, the problems will end up. The solution to current problems is simple: no growth at all. Growth may not be unlimited, the example we see in nature; a person begins as a tiny cell and grows up to die of 1.80 m on average. The Conference is very interesting.

    • I think mankind needs to stop having kids

    • Decode Channel well I know it’s flat

    • Decode Channel you can’t keep your eggs in a broken basket , the earth we have needs fixing ,

    • A N G E R L O A D I N G not really we need to build and be imaginative, build under water city’s, under ground city’s , people can be living in South pole , on water , in the sky , if our sun is local with local light then we must use its energy. We can now build systems what drives on solar energy , at what speed does the sun move ?

  11. Wow…

    Read more


  13. Alexander Osper // 11th January 2018 at 5:01 pm // Reply

    Actually 401 million km is the longest distance possible between Earth and Mars, the shortest is about 54.6 million and the average is at 225 million km

  14. jamie paterson // 11th January 2018 at 5:12 pm // Reply

    Talking all this crap..try getting off the earth 1st..then how you going to get through the van Allan radiation belt? much shielding are you going to use?..can’t be to much..can’t be to heavy..but enough to protect you going to move about in space when there’s no air to push off of?..and your rocket..there no are your rocket going to work?.

    • Why i agree with your second paragraph, it seems to me that your first paragraph was copied perfectly from a post at forbes tittle “Why Aren’t The Van Allen Belts A Barrier To Spaceflight?”. Having said that f you are going to call me fake news you can at least do some research.
      In reality, the international space station crosses what is called the south atlantic anomaly, a dip in the near van allen belt. In fact, the ISS was design with this in mind and posses special shielding specially added to cross this part of the VAB safely. There are actually some cool videos of the ISS crossing the SAA on youtube.

    • jamie paterson // 11th January 2018 at 10:27 pm // Reply

      TheEnigma read a a government scientist..listen to a lecture..from someone who works for the government..ok..just like you you question any of it or do you just go along with it?

    • jamie paterson. As with the ISS, satelites can be seen with a half decent telescope, try for yourself.
      The fuel doesnt need to push againt anything. A release of mass with a velocity causes a force in the oposing direction. On earth, usually, since there is friction with the air and the floor you cant use this as a method of transportation, but go ice skating, and try to through a ball to someone, you will se how you move backwards.
      Once you take out any air, redirecting the gases form the combustion of fuel to space is like throwing the ball while ice skating it moves you. Another example, statelites and the ISS use co2 canister to correct their position, just open a little the valve of the compressed canister and you can move.

    • jamie paterson // 11th January 2018 at 10:30 pm // Reply

      Jaime Cernuda wow..were you one of the people who built it?you seem to know a lot or are you regurgitating something you read?

    • jamie paterson // 11th January 2018 at 10:32 pm // Reply

      Jaime Cernuda naaa.don’t think so..try again

  15. I see people still believe in space unicorn in 2018 how sad

  16. Set playback speed at 1.25 or 1.5.
    Thank me later.

  17. HeavyMetalRuinedMyLife1971 // 11th January 2018 at 5:26 pm // Reply

    Space doesn’t exist !!!

  18. HeavyMetalRuinedMyLife1971 // 11th January 2018 at 5:28 pm // Reply

    YouTube this….200 proofs Earth is not a spinning ball !!!

  19. Wow ! now days nasa working in best discoveries on sciesnce in Space. but on was history is huge ideas. so Since 1969 Great Ideas , is best year to discovery. but that was been Adventures had been very rulest knows discoveries, most amazing sciences in space. so in past was be like dog lika, and more things in history. but now very great technology. in space. in mars or earth is Science real, so How about nano and Working, with Robots time is sure amazing Time.

  20. You need to put cameras all over the construction site! 😀 i really want to see those printers in action!!! 😀

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


Share This