NASA’s Journey to Mars project—the one where they’re going to send humans to Mars in the 2030s—has a few hitches. First of all, astronauts will probably be staying on the Red Planet for months rather than the shorter periods of time spent on the moon. Naturally, these brave space travelers are going to need a place to live.
That’s where the Mars Ice Home comes in. From the people who brought us Mars Ice House–the winners of NASA’s Centennial Challenge for a 3D printed habitat–comes the perfect Martian living quarters, made significantly of ice.
The advantages to the house is that the shell is lightweight and can be transported fairly easily. Using robotics, it can be filled with the water used to create the ice before the crew arrives. Still, there are challenges. The current rate of extracting water on Mars would mean the house could only be built in 400 days.
“The materials that make up the Ice Home will have to withstand many years of use in the harsh Martian environment, including ultraviolet radiation, charged-particle radiation, possibly some atomic oxygen, perchlorates, as well as dust storms–although not as fierce as in the movie The Martian,” said NASA Langley researcher Sheila Ann Thibeault.
“It’s important for astronauts to have something to look forward to when they arrive on the Red Planet,” Mars Ice Home principal investigator Kevin Kempton said.
Maybe a pool then?