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Resilient ExtraTerrestrial Habitats

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RETH has been featured in the latest issue of Geostrata, with the article Lava Tubes as Resilient Extraterrestrial Habitats: An Option For A Permanent Human Settlement Beyond Earth.

August 1, 2019


Lava tubes have been a hot topic, as Anahita Modiriasari and Audai Theinat have presented in numerous conferences about this research. Read more...

July 11, 2019


Antonio Bobet presented the keynote lecture at the 53rd US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium in New York, NY, June 24, 2019. Download the presentation.

June 24, 2019


Shirley Dyke presented at the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference in Pasadena, California, June 19-21, 2019. She presented Reslience-oriented Design Framework for Resilient Extraterrestrial Habitats, on behalf of authors: Amin Maghareh, Ali Lenjani, Shirley Dyke, Karen Marais, Antonio Bobet, Julio Ramirez, Dawn Whitaker, Anahita Modiriasari, and Audai Theinat. Download the presentation.

June 21, 2019


Daniel Gomez, Audai Theinat, Yunlan Zhang, and Ye Lu were awarded 2nd place for the best presentation award at the Engineering 2169: Where will we live? competition. The presentation was titled Future of Resilient Human Settlements. This presentation was related to the RETH, Resilient ExtraTerrestrial Habitats, a project funded by the Purdue Provost’s Office. Download the presentation.

Apr 25, 2019


NASA selects Purdue for new institute researching space habitats
NASA announced Shirley Dyke will lead the new Resilient ExtraTerrestrial Habitats institute (RETHi) to be located in West Lafayette. The institute will receive as much as $15 million over a five-year period from NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate. RETHi is a multi-disciplinary partnership with the University of Connecticut, Harvard University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Apr 9, 2019


A team consisting of Jongseong Choi, Anahita Modiriasari, and Audai Theinat have reconstructed a virtual model of a Lava Tube, reconstructed using high-quality images and video, to learn the formation and structural characteristics remotely, process and analyze highly focused areas, and decipher useful information for potential extraterrestrial habitats.
Presentation  |  Video

Jan 15, 2019


A 2-day RETH workshop was held on October 22 and 23, 2018, in West Lafayette, Indiana. In addition to engineering and planetary science issues, attendees integrated recent research into human factors involved in planning for resilience through the involvement of appropriate social science researchers. Over 60 attendees including the invited speakers participated in the workshop.

Oct 23, 2018


Hayley Bower, Herta Montoya, Corey Beck, and Anthony Boener presented their recent research in the Resilient Extraterrestrial Habitat Workshop. The workshop was held in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Oct 22, 2018


Audai K. Theinat, Anahita Modiriasari, and Amin Maghareh presented their recent research in AIAA conference. Their talk was entitled Geometry and Structural Stability of Lunar Lava Tubes. The conference was held on Orlando, Florida.

Sept 24, 2018


Julia M. Badger, BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue, delivered a presentation on Sep 13th, 2018. Her talk was entitled Robotics and Autonomy: The Future of People in Space.

Sept 15, 2018


Jory Lyons and Jacob Just presented their research results in the SURF symposium. Their two talks were titled Extra-terrestrial habitat systems: Safety, Reliability, and Resilience by Jory, and Hawaiian lavatubes with extra-terrestrial habitat applications by Jacob.

Aug 3, 2018


We are excited to announce that the RETH team is the winner of the MBR Space Settlement Challenge.

May 30, 2018


Dr. Hunain Alkhateb delivered a presentation on Sep 13th, 2018. Her talk was entitled Robotics and Autonomy: The Future of People in Space.

May 10, 2018


Nicole Rote presented her research results at Purdue's Undergraduate Research Conference on April 10th. Her talk was titled Quantification and Evaluation of Thermal Fatigue for a Lunar Habitat.

Apr 13, 2018


Daniel Gomez, PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering, was awarded a 2017 SURF “Best Mentor”. Daniel advised two undergraduate researchers on independent projects during the 2017 Summer. The two projects were titled Hazard Assessment of Meteoroid Impact for the Design of Lunar Habitats by Herta Montoya, and Evaluation of Radiation and Design Criteria for a Lunar Habitat by Hayley Bower.

Aug 10, 2017

About us:

We are establishing a new interdisciplinary effort at Purdue University to perform the science and establish the knowhow to build resilient extraterrestrial habitats.

Purdue offers one of the most favorable venues for the creation of a program in Extraterrestrial Habitat Engineering. In addition to our fame as the home of more astronauts than any other institution in the world, including the first and last men on the Moon, we are also home to a highly ranked department of Aeronautical and Astronautical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and a new, but now highly visible, program in Planetary Science in the EAPS department.

Members of these departments have recently been active as part of NASA’s GRAIL mission, which mapped the Moon’s gravity field to unprecedented precision. One of the Purdue-centered discoveries from this mission was the existence of a network of large, empty caves in the lunar lava flows. The lava tubes may form the basis for ideal habitats on the Moon or Mars, offering instant protection to astronauts from temperature variations, radiation and meteorite impacts.

Our interdisciplinary team represents an extensive accomplishments in leadership of large, distributed research collaborations and recognized nationally and internationally expertise in geotechnical, mechanical, earthquake, structural, engineering and earth and planetary sciences.