It is easy to see why we need to colonize another planet, it only took one asteroid to annihilate the dinosaurs, Mars seems to be on everyone’s radar when it comes to interplanetary travel and Habitation, the latter is what I will look at.
Most of us look at the return journey to Mars, the biggest problem is living on mars we’ll never exactly know how dangerous Mars is until we get there, you can test the buildings the astronauts will be living in on earth but will it work out there, by now we know that mars is similar to earth in many ways but is also vastly different from our planet.
Mars is about 141 million miles from the sun and its diameter is smaller than that of the earth, a year on Mars is roughly double that of earth and a day is 24 hours 37 minutes while a day on earth is 23 hours 56 minutes, Mars is colder and dryer than on earth, it’s equivalent to living in Antarctica all year round, then there is the lack of oxygen, oxygen is useless on Mars where carbon dioxide is 96% and oxygen is a measly 0.15 %, mars also has a weak magnetic field that can cause a lot of radiation issues, but that all can be overcome with a little bit of ingenuity, Let’s see how these companies will make living on Mars possible.
All these things need to be factored in if we want to build on mars, the biggest factor here would be 3d printing, try getting a construction team up there, The cost alone makes it an astronomical, if not an impossible undertaking, the best approach at the moment would be to improve our 3D printing capabilities and also use materials that are readily available on the surface of Mars, the equipment used on mars, should also be fully autonomous.
the AI will probably be loaded with thousands of instructions on what to do if something does not go according to plan, there are a lot of problems that need to be solved before a mars habitat can be a reality, the good that comes out of projects like these are new solutions for problems that already exist on earth.
The Organizations at the forefront of mars habitation are Nasa and Space X with both favoring designs that factor in psychological health, Nasa recently had a competition to find the most functional mars home design, the competition was divided into 3 phases, the first phase was the design competition.
Teams had to submit architectural renders, the top three designs in the first challenge were by Team space exploration architecture and cloud architecture in first place for their design, Mars Ice House, team gamma came in second for their habitat design, and LavaHive in third place with their Mars habitat design.
Space exploration architecture and cloud architecture explained that the 5cm ice shield of the ice house protects against radiation, without compromising life above ground, the concept is based on the recent discovery that there could be water on the planet.
Phase 2 completed in 2017 was the structural member competition, focused on material technologies. this phase required teams to create structural components, Foster + Partners | Branch Technology of Chattanooga took first place for completing Phase 2 of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge.
AI. SpaceFactory was the winner of phase 3 with Marsha, their vertical martian habitat with spaces stacked on top of each other, It’s clear that each of these teams went for the surface approached rather than underground.
Space x and Blue Origin
Then there is Space X and Blue Origin, you might think that these two companies both have overlapping ambitions, which is great for interplanetary exploration, the leap in technological advancements are astronomical because of the competition between both Blue Origin and Space X,
I would call theses two transport companies, except Blue Origin, wants us to live in space orbiting a planet while Space X wants us to go to Mars, NASA for me is the one that’s going to make the stay on mars bearable. We have a long way to but I believe that we will get there eventually, and even faster than previously thought.
we will only see what will happen if Nassa, Space X, and Blue Origin makes space travel a reality, I honestly hope it happens soon.
The Artemis lunar exploration program
The Artemis lunar exploration program just might be the best testing ground for getting men to Mars, Nasa is planning on sending astronauts to the moon by 2024, and collaborate with international partners to establish sustainable missions by 2028.
This will help them gather enough data for interplanetary travel including the Mars mission, they are also planning to build a base on the moon which will eventually be a test base for the technology we talked about above before they can be used on longer missions.
I genuinely believe that all this can become possible because of the involvement of the sheer number of countries and companies that normally would not collaborate on anything together.