HASSELL partnered with Eckersley O’Callaghan to design the external shell which could be constructed entirely by autonomous robots using Mars’ natural regolith, to protect the astronauts from the radiation
This NASA competition sought perspectives from outside the traditional aerospace industry, to explore how a human habitat could be designed and delivered on Mars using autonomous 3D printing technologies.
Several substantial hurdles must be overcome for humans to survive in the harsh Martian environment. Perhaps most significant, the lack of a magnetic field and atmosphere leaves the planet’s surface exposed to much higher levels of radiation than those on Earth.
The robots would be sent to Mars a few years before astronauts are due to arrive. These intelligent autonomous robots will have interchangeable roles, from battery storage to scout rovers, logistics to excavation and even 3D printing units, all integrated with multiple cameras and sensors for navigation. They can reconfigure themselves for a multitude of purposes, ensuring prolonged usage beyond the initial build phases.
Once the astronauts land, they would rapidly construct the building’s interior using a series of inflatable pods that incorporate all the living and working requirements for everyday life on Mars. The design moves beyond the idea of astronauts purely as operators, to create a habitat where people will not only survive on Mars, but really thrive there.
Responding to the challenge that every kilogram of equipment brought to Mars is hugely expensive to transport, astronauts would be equipped to repurpose and recycle as much waste material as they can. The workshop would therefore be one of the most important spaces in the habitat. The astronauts would be able to 3D print spare parts and tools, and recycle plastics and packaging into furniture and shoes. The fabric from the supersonic landing parachutes would be refashioned into clothes.
Source: HASSELL and Eckersley O’Callaghan
Final film has been made in collaboration with the team at LightField London.
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