Designers, architects, engineers, scientists, and organizations are working together to design homes for people to live on Mars. Many prototypes that have recently come up are not just Mars-ready, they are ready for Earth as well.
A recent Martian house created by the UK designers Ella Good and Nicki Kent exhibits its functionality on Earth and Mars. Meanwhile, a company called AI SpaceFactory is using design elements from different projects for creating living spaces on Earth.
Packing the Earth’s atmosphere into a home
As part of the public art project in Bristol called Building A Martian House, Good and Kent revealed their Martian house to the public this year. The house was built by a team of architects, space science and engineering professors, organizations, and companies, and sits on the streets of Bristol.
Considering Mars’s thin atmosphere, Good and Kent’s 53-sqm two-story Martian house is built to withstand cosmic radiation. The house is installed with solar panels and has an airlock to prevent the air from escaping. Since Mars is much colder than Earth, the house will sit on top of lava tubes on Mars. This is to keep people warm.
The lower story of the house includes the bedroom and is meant to be underground on Mars. The upper level of the house is made of a pressurized inflatable gold foil. On Earth, the pressurized chamber is filled with air, but on Mars, the designers said that the house can be reused to fill the walls with Mars’s soil called Regolith.
As a part of sustainability practices, smart indoor gardening is also a way to live in a house with a self-sufficient kitchen. Good and Kent’s red and gold house design has smart equipment for growing greens indoors. The same is also being employed in Martian and Earth-bound homes. The house has a hydroponic living room on the upper floor that takes care of indoor gardening needs. This house is pretty sustainable for Earth as well.
The project has given the designers Good and Kent a new perspective to pay attention to our way of living on this planet. Good and Kent share that they are “using Mars as a lens” to do this.
3D printed dome for a home
Artificially intelligent machines and autonomous 3D printing are relatively new. New York-based AI SpaceFactory is combining the two technologies and the raw material available to build tall and verticle housing pods for people. The company builds pods and projects to survive not just on other planets, but also on Earth.
With project Marsha, backed by NASA, the idea is to send the machines before humans to Mars. The prototype has been built autonomously using Earth’s raw materials to 3D print an egg-shell-shaped house. The exterior shell is detachable from the interior structure and can be recycled. However, on Mars, the houses will be made with basalt fiber extracted from Martian rock and a renewable bioplastic called polylactic acid, or PLA. The bioplastic is made from the plants that grow on Mars.
While we were designing for sustainable life on Mars, we realized our materials and technology had the potential to be leaps and bounds more sustainable than traditional construction (especially concrete and steel). It could transform the way we build on Earth. pic.twitter.com/oFz0TPAVbG
— AI SpaceFactory (@AISpaceFactory) January 8, 2020
While working on Marsha, the company could also see its functioning on Earth. The pod Terra, just like Marsha, is a corridor-free dome. According to the company, the transformation of Marsha into Terra gave them a different perspective on survival on Earth. The idea behind the Earth pod is a tree house. The spaces in the pod are pre-defined and plenty of windows make it capable of drawing as much daylight as possible.
Photo credits: The images were taken by Luke O’Donovan and have been provided by Building A Martian House for press usage.
Source: Gary Jordan (NASA)