Lunar Skoda and Prague on the Moon. Space Architect shows the future of space mining

As a child, Tomáš Rousek spent his childhood near the Kosmonautů metro station. He admired the statues of Vladimir Remek and other space conquerors and dreamed of life beyond the borders of our planet. His love for the cosmos lasted until he grew up. As an architect and designer, he has participated in the design of artificial gravity spacecraft and 3D printed bases on Mars or the Moon.

His latest project is the model of New Prague on the Moon, which he will present in the virtual reality laboratory Virtuplex during the Czech Space Week event. At the same time, he also designed the monthly rover Luniaq inspired by Škoda cars.

model of the monthly base of New Prague

“In virtual reality, people can walk around the first Wenceslas in space and enjoy the premiere of the first Škoda space. Princess Libuše, who said – I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars – would be happy,” Rousek laughs.

In the past, the 39-year-old architect also prepared concepts for the renovation of his Mladá Boleslav complex. He has also worked for NASA, ESA, the European Union and the Anglo-Swiss company ESTEE. And in London and Prague he runs his own architecture studio XTEND Design focusing on architecture and graphic design.

Škoda Luniaq

He started his business when he was sixteen. “I applied for a brigade at Danone, but they turned me down. That’s why I figured out how to make money differently. So instead of packaging yogurt, I started creating graphic designs and websites,” says Rousek.

It turned out he had a knack for design, so he went on to study architecture at CTU. During this one, he meets by chance the spatial architect Ondřej Doul, who informs him of the existence of the International Space University of Strasbourg. Rouska was thrilled and decided to study in Switzerland.

As a result, he got a job for the American and German space agencies. And especially for interesting projects, like the Martian greenhouse.

“The hydroponic system, where soil is replaced with a nutrient solution and sunlight is replaced with LED lighting, was tested by scientists in Antarctica to feed the crew at the local Neumayer station. And I have designed its space version”, explains the architect of the European Union project called EDEN ISS.

As chief designer of the Swiss-British company ESTEE, he again worked on a simulator of a Martian base with a closed ecosystem. As part of the BioDynamo project, colleagues have designed a residential module connected to greenhouses.

They have a layer of water in the mantle which would shield the radiation and at the same time let the light pass through the plants. They would use not only hydroponics, i.e. growing without soil, but also aeroponics and fogponics, where the roots grow in the air.

As part of his work for NASA, Rousek, along with fellow architects Ondřej Doul and Katarina Eriksson, also created the monthly SinterHab project, which combines solid and inflatable modules fabricated on Earth and brought into space with buildings. built in space.

“NASA’s robotic systems are expected to use microwaves to imprint houses from lunar dust. And to extract local raw materials from the ground to metals to ice for the production of water, fuel and tools,” Rousek describes.

Like the lunar village, the Mars habitat project, which the Czech architect created with colleagues as part of a competition for NASA, relies on the use of 3D printing.

Even then, the main construction element would be the local raw materials, from which the robotic systems will print the base. The base is an inflatable structure covered with durable 3D printed walls.

While working for NASA’s habitation team, Rousek was involved in another interesting AG Cycler project. As part of a larger team that included, for example, the famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin, he designed a spacecraft en route to Mars.

And not just as ordinary, but which would generate artificial gravity by rotating the whole ship. The construction would be made of materials such as carbon and zylon, and the ship would use solar electric propulsion in interplanetary space.

Not just in space

Tomáš Rousek not only creates projects for space, but also for the Earth. For example, he collaborated with the world’s largest architectural firm, AECOM, in the Maldives resort and Olympic buildings in Rio de Janeiro, and prepared a series of buildings for the FIFA Championship and Formula 1 in the Middle East.

“I imagined futuristic designs for two royal families in Qatar and Dubai. this design was ultimately destroyed by Brexit before it was implemented,” explains the architect.

According to him, terrestrial architecture can be inspired by space. “There is extreme pressure in space to recycle everything and keep all systems closed. And with growing climate problems, we need to learn how to use it on our planet as well,” Rousek says.

He himself has participated, for example, in the construction of recycled plastic systems, green infrastructure in London or a European water purification project on Earth and in space.

Although he has many interesting projects behind him, he would like to realize many more. He would like to work on the design of futuristic airports, houses and hotels on land, under water and in space, or to build a green and sustainable city.

“I’ll see what projects we come up with. For example, I dreamed of working for NASA and having a branch on the banks of the Thames in London, as the famous architect Norman Foster did. And I succeeded in the two, albeit in a more modest form than in the original ideas,” says Rousek.

He adds: “Imagination is our superpower. Many people forget about it in adulthood because they fall into the carousel of work, family and mortgages. But it is the dream that drives humanity forward. For example, beyond the borders of our planet to meet the universe.”

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