By Jack Williams
These futuristic NASA-awarded designs propose how life on Mars might someday look.
The egg-like habitats were designed by company AI SpaceFactory and propose large 3D-printed buildings that move away from the conventional designs of otherworldly abodes.
Previously, many designs for living on far-off planets – Mars or otherwise – would be low-lying or buried.
New York-based AI SpaceFactory, however, believe their plans will be able to handle structural stress and internal atmospheric pressure.
David Malott, CEO and creative director for AI Spacefactory, said: “Every feature in the design has a underlying logic and purpose.
“When you consider the enormous challenge of sending robots and humans to Mars, there is no room for whim.
“Still, the exterior form and interior spaces had to speak to our collective imagination — an alien yet familiar beauty.”
David and his colleague, Jeffrey Montes, worked on the research and development stage for their project, called “MARSHA” (MARS HAbitat), for six months, consulting the likes of planetary scientists and polymer engineers.
Throughout the project, the pair were also looking to leave as small of a footprint on the planet as possible.
One of the ways they plan to do so is to harvest materials from Mars’ surface, such as basalt fibre.
This will mean that large pieces of pre-constructed parts will not need to be transported to the planet.
Having such a construction process in place will also mean that more accommodation can be added as additional inhabitants are sent to the planet, with the Sun providing the project’s power source.
Inside the pods themselves will be the likes of flexible living spaces, social areas, laboratories and rooms to provide inhabitants with private space.
The designs were selected second in an ongoing NASA-sponsored competition for creating a 3D-printed habitat on Mars, meaning they will continue to be developed further.
David added: “Our long-term goal is to get to Mars, no doubt.
“In the meantime, our research points to ways we can 3D print habitats here on Earth in places with a lack of infrastructure by using materials sourced from the surrounding landscape – like housing in Africa, for example.
“We are fully committed to move forward with the project.
“The next step is to 3D print a functional prototype (here on Earth) as the next level in NASA’s Mars Habitat Challenge.
“We are reaching out to corporate sponsors interested in helping.
“Inhabitation of Mars is inevitable: it’s in human nature to explore and Mars is the next step.”