Building Prototypes That Would Most Likely Be Built On Mars

Since the space race first started, we have dreamt of travelling across the stars and making homes on other planets.

It may sound like science fiction, but the idea of living on other planets isn’t that farfetched. With technology growing and making us grow as the years go on, organisations around the world are looking into making working models for habitats that would allow us to live on our planetary neighbour, Mars.

Let’s take a look at some of the most credible building prototypes under development that may be our future homes on Mars.

Image Courtesy of Dubai Media Office

Mars Science City

In the UAE, in the desert outside of Dubai, a prototype “Mars City” is being built.

This USD $140 million development covers an area of 1.9 million square feet and will be the largest space stimulation city ever built.

Part of the UAE’s “Mars 2117 Strategy” – an ambitious plan to build a settlement on Mars within the next 100 years – The city was designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and aims to give a realistic model that will simulate living on the surface of Mars. This “Mars Science City” will be encased within geodesic domes and will have laboratories dedicated to investigating living on Mars.

Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Mars Habitat

As part of a NASA-backed competition to create a 3D-printed modular habitat, Foster + Partners has designed a concept for a habitat built by robots.

This design consists of a 93-square-metre dwelling for up to four astronauts, 3D-printed from the loose soil and rocks found on Mars’s surface.

According to the design, semi-autonomous robots will select a site and dig a crater, then inflatable modules will be inserted into the crater and form the core of the settlement. The walls will then be 3D printed around these central pods.

The design concept came second in the first phase of NASA’s challenge.

Image Courtesy of SEArch/Clouds AO

Mars Ice House

This design was the winner of the of NASA’s first Mars challenge. Designed by Space Exploration Architecture (SEArch) and Clouds Architecture Office, their design takes advantage of the expected abundance of water in certain parts of the planet, which will help create the 3D printed “ice habitats”.

It will consist of a vertically oriented lander containing mechanical services which will become the core of the habitat. From this, a transparent membrane will be inflated, with two nested domes 3D printed by robots.

While we still don’t know what type of settlements we’ll have on Mars, these prototypes give us a good idea of what we can expect. They also act as the building blocks to what we will eventually get. Are these the buildings our descendants will be living in? It will be nothing like we have ever seen before.