NASA is already building a home to stay on Mars, using 3D printing

What will life be like on Mars? NASA will soon try to simulate this. Its Houston center is currently looking for four volunteers to find out during the first of three annual simulations at the Johnson Space Center in Texas.

Selected crew members move into a residence called Mars Dune Alpha for a year. The architects tried to create “the most faithful simulated mansion anyone has ever built” for life on the Red Planet. The stay of the first selected should begin in the fall of 2022.

Recruitment on Mars
To simulate a stay on Mars, candidates must meet a number of strict conditions. Candidates must be between 30 and 55 years old, in good physical condition, have no dietary problems or be prone to motion sickness.
All must have at least a master’s degree in science, technology or mathematics or good flying experience.

Another restriction is that only US citizens or residents can participate in the project.

The simulation is intended to help research methods and technologies that should prevent and possibly solve potential problems on future missions with humans to Mars or even the Moon.

“This is essential for testing solutions that must meet the complex needs of life on the surface of Mars,” said Grace Douglas, chief scientist of NASA’s research department. “The simulations will also help us understand the physical and mental challenges astronauts will face before and after departure.”

3D printing

The construction of the house is carried out by 3D printing, in which the Texan company Icon participates. The model, designed by the architectural firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, has an area of ​​1,700 square meters.

3D printing is supposed to be the solution for future space constructions, so there is no need to carry a large amount of building materials. Transporting building materials from Earth would be unbearable. In the future, members of future missions will use local rocks for 3D printing.

“This is the most faithful simulated habitat people have ever built,” said ICON co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard. “We wanted to develop the most faithful likeness possible that would help humanity realize its dream of traveling to the stars. The 3D printing of the habitat further showed us that this technology will be an essential part of human equipment. on Earth and on the journey to the Moon and Mars.


VIDEO: How to build a house for Mars

Source: ICON / Youtube.com


NASA is betting that additive manufacturing technology using 3D printing will be a viable design method for building similar structures in space. “Mars Dune Alpha will bring us closer to becoming a multiplanetary species,” BIG founder Bjarke Ingels said in a statement.

The Danish architect is known for his unique design solutions. Among other things, he and his company have been trying for several years to establish themselves as a visionary in the field of creating habitable ecosystems for the red planet, where there is neither atmosphere nor drinking water. It is therefore currently trying to simulate the conditions of a Martian city in the deserts of Dubai.


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Healthy environment

The ultimate goal, according to a spokesperson for BIG’s design team, is to create a “supportive and healthy environment that should not be built at the expense of aesthetics.” That’s why the architects of Mars Dune Alpha tried to give future residents the appearance of privacy.

A constant source of food
The Japanese government and its space agency JAXA intend to acquire food and technology companies to research the development of a sustainable food source on the moon. The research aims to help develop technologies to manage farms in an inhospitable lunar environment where crops can be grown indoors. The moon freezes below minus 100 degrees Celsius and there is not enough water or air.
The project must also include research aimed at ensuring the conditions for the long-term maintenance of the mental and physical health of people working indoors.

The technologies could then be used to solve problems in agriculture related to desertification, land degradation in deserts or semi-deserts, or climate change on Earth or in the future on Mars.

Instead of shared dorms, each crew member will be assigned their own room, which they can tailor to their preferences. There will also be two full bathrooms. The architects added that the design was inspired by knowledge of similar long-term habitats – such as the International Space Station (ISS), submarines or Antarctic research stations.

After all, science stations in Antarctica are relatively close to what conquering Mars will look like. They have a relatively small team of scientists and engineers cut off from civilization, they have limited resources. And the base can only be left in special clothes.

To the rhythm of the day on Earth

Mars Dune Alpha will also include an indoor aquaponic vegetable farm, various workspaces, a gym, an infirmary and relaxation areas.

The architects also suggested that ceiling height be varied throughout the space of a floor, which they said would help “prevent spatial monotony”.

“The data obtained from the search for this habitation will serve NASA directly as the basis for the introduction of standards for long-term reconnaissance missions. And this potentially lays the foundation for new Martian architecture,” added Bjarke Ingels.

Everyone on Mars!

Elon Musk, who is already working on a prototype of the giant ship, has dreamed of a trip to Mars for almost 20 years. In May of this year, she for the first time successfully landed, which is only one of the milestones on the way to the red planet. Musk estimated the cost of developing the Starship starship/missile at ten billion dollars.

As for Mars, NASA (along with space agencies from other ambitious countries) is currently pursuing robotic missions. There is currently a Perseverance robotic vehicle on the planet. However, in recent years, Americans have begun to pay more attention and preparation for the human mission to Mars. “We are aiming for a launch to Mars by 2030. It may take longer, but I hope not,” Space News recently quoted SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell as saying.

China is also showing growing interest in traveling there. This summer, she announced that she would like to send her own manned mission in the coming years. Even before the start of the manned missions, China wants to send robots to Mars, whose task will be to study the places where the base could be built.

However, for humans to live on Mars, it will be necessary to learn how to use the planet’s resources, such as obtaining groundwater, producing oxygen and generating electricity, Reuters reported. The first tests should begin in 2033.

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