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Bjarke Ingels Releases Development Plan For Safe, Comfortable, Habitable Buildings On Mars


Talk of Mars travel has been ongoing for several years now, but while reaching the planet is one hurdle, finding a way to survive on it is an entirely different obstacle.

Copenhagen- and New York-based Bjarke Ingels Group is stepping up to take on the challenge and it is starting in the deserts of the United Arab Emirates.

Mars Science City

Like Mars, the arid deserts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are void of flowing water and face harsh temperatures in addition to being forced to import key ingredients in order to sustain human life.

Working in collaboration with Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Dubai Municipality, Big Landscape, Big Ideas and Big Engineering, BIG is designing a Martian settlement prototype to act as a testing ground and research institution created to determine how to best facilitate future civilizations on Mars.

Seven domes will be present in Mars Science City, which will be positioned on the outskirts of Dubai. The buildings, which will be created in phases over the next few years, will include a research institution dedicated to farming, an activity garden and a public museum. Trees from the Mushrif desert in Dubai will be replanted inside the domes and 3D printing will be used to adjust the buildings as research continues to evolve. The first dome will be created using technology available today but the subsequent domes will use the latest in technology and 3D printing techniques, Fast Company reports.

Mars Science City will hold an estimated 1,000 people but the goal is to build a city on Mars large enough to sustain roughly 600,000 residents.

Mars, which is the fourth planet from the sun, is both the closest to Earth and has the best conditions for colonization with the existence of carbon, water, metallic, resources, and a daylight cycle that is only slightly longer than that of Earth. However, it is not without its challenges. The existence of radiation, intense pressure, extreme temperatures and a lack of consumable water and breathable air means designing architecture that will be able to host and sustain human life will be tricky, to say the least.

To compound these issues, building on Mars will likely be similar in nature to early construction at a time when industrial processes and assembly did not exist, Fast Company reports. But BIG does anticipate having access to basic yet valuable materials to work with and as such, has focused its research on the creation of three types of structures that could be produced with some essential resources. These include inflatable structures, 3D printed structures and carved-out structures. All of these edifices additionally provide air pressure, oxygen and protection against radiation.

It is not just future Martians that will benefit from this research. Earthlings will be able to utilize the research and findings to use resources more efficiently and learn how to do more with less.

While it may be another hundred years before humans actually begin living on Mars on a permanent basis, the Mars Science City, which will be the only complex of its scale built to replicate the Martian environment, will act as a vital research facility for scientists and educators globally in the meantime.