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Photos of the Day: Your new home on Mars

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:12pm
Melissa Fassbender, Managing Editor, PD&D, @melfass

Melissa FassbenderMars One is looking to send humans to Mars in 2025. Next year, the first batch of applicants (yes, willing applicants) will be selected to begin their training, which will continue up until the 2024 launch date. Nearly a decade of training is hardly the commitment when you consider that once the chosen applicants reach Mars, there is no turning back – this trip has a one way ticket.

For such a permanent move, the residents are going to need a nice place to stay. So Thingaverse, in conjunction with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), decided to launch a design challenge, the Makerbot Mars Base Challenge, offering makers a chance to show-off their designs for the new homes on Mars.

With an average temperature of -81°F, an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide, and some water vapor, the contestants had to take in consideration the significant environmental challenges of living on the red planet – and maybe even make it feel a little like home.

More than 220 entries were submitted, including this one dubbed the “seeds of humanity,” and another “Martian flower of life.” While not all of the designs followed such an ethereal botanical theme, they were all quite impressive.

The designs were judged by NASA-JPL and MakerBot employees and scored according to scientific feasibility, creativity, and printability. The three challenge winners, in no particular order, include:

The Queen B (Bioshielding) 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath Mars Apartment by Noah Hornberger

The aptly named Queen B resembles the honeycombs of a bee hive. It features a fully functioning kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lounge, laundryroom, a garden, and of course, a 3D printing lab.

To combat the elements, the Queen also features rugged roofing to deflect debris. To keep the environment viable, Depleted Uranium Panels bring radiation to safe levels.

Pyramids have already proven to be able to withstand the test of time, which is why Valcrow chose the shape for his design. His design focuses on creating multi-functional systems to ensure that everything is being reused as much as possible.

For power, the Martian Pyramid uses both nuclear and solar.

The Mars Acropolis by Chris Starr

Just as Valcrow took his inspiration from the ancient architecture, so has Chris Starr, taking point from the ancient Greek Acropolis.

The Mars Acropolis, as he calls it, is a three-tiered structure, with an outer wall serving as a protective barrier. The building itself would be constructed out of various composite materials, such as fiber-reinforced plastics, in addition to stainless steel, aluminum, or titanium.

For more details on all of designs, visit www.thingiverse.com/challenges/mars.

 

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