The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to build igloos on the Moon with a view to creating an Antarctica-like outpost.

Dr Jitendra Singh of the Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space gave the response to a question (PDF) asked in the Indian Parliament by Shri Suman Balka last week, a member of the Committee on Rural Development.

A sphere or igloo-like dome is the most efficient shape for a habitat in a vacuum, although construction will present a challenge.

No timeline was given for when the first Indian igloos might spring up on the lunar surface, but plans to send 3D printers to the moon are already being drawn up by boffins at the ISRO Satellite Centre.

The team also plans to use lunar regolith as a building material, and (as is the norm for ISRO) is quick to point out that their almost-but-not-quite lunar soil simulant can be manufactured far cheaper than the US version of the grey dust.

Source: India: Yeah, we would like to 3D-print igloos on the Moon • The Register