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May 25, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Mars: NASA unveil images of their future astronaut base

NASA, who hope to send astronauts to Mars by 2033, have presented a project for a base that could be used as a research centre and to house their crew. Printed in 3D, the building would be built by autonomous robots, using materials that are naturally present on the Red Planet.

Photo credits: Search+

At a recent hearing before the U.S. Congress, NASA revealed their intention to send astronauts to Mars by 2033. Within the framework of this project, the agency is planning to build a base on the Red Planet and unveiled a series of images of the highly futuristic building.

A tower printed in 3D by autonomous robots

In a competition called the “3D Printed Habitat Challenge”, NASA selected Space Exploration Architecture (SEArch+) for their building design, which is printed in 3D using materials found on Mars: dust, rock, etc. The company was awarded a prize of USD 34,000. In the future, the tower, which will be built by autonomous robots, will house research laboratories as well as accommodation for a crew of four people. 

The base’s accommodation, called “Mars X House”, will include rooms similar to the cabins on a ship and equipped with standard furniture, such as beds, desks and chairs. “We’re trying to […] design for people’s full needs,” explained Melodie Yashar, co-founder of SEArch+. “That means light, separation of public and private spaces, and access to greenery and nature.”

Offering the same working conditions as on Earth

The research laboratories, meanwhile, should enable the scientists to work in similar conditions to terrestrial laboratories. The computer-generated images published by NASA reflect “the imagination of the general public” in terms of design for space, says Yashar. “The aerospace industry is slowly and surely appreciating the perspective of […] what it means to design a habitat in space.”

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Cover photo credits: Search+

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