NASA has announced the winners of its 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge Design Competition.
The contest sought architectural concepts for how 3D printing might be
used to create shelters on the Red Planet. The overall winner, Ice
House, would be built using the planet's predicted abundant water
Fresh observations of surface features known as recurring slope lineae (RSL) appear to have confirmed the presence of liquid water on Mars. The evidence of surface water may have profound implications in the ongoing search for Martian life, both ancient and present, and as a resource to be used in a future manned mission to the Red Planet.
Foster + Partners has designed some of the most famous buildings in the world and, if one of its recent designs is anything to go by, it may soon have buildings on other planets, too. The firm has designed a shelter for up to four astronauts on Mars that would be 3D printed by a fleet of robots.
Though the field is still relatively new, 3D-printed architecture could
prove a real boon to potential Mars colonizers. Inspired by NASA's competition
seeking ideas for potential 3D-printed Mars habitats, French firm
Fabulous has designed a conceptual shelter, dubbed Sfero, that would be
3D-printed on the Red Planet using locally-available materials.
During a planned calibration maneuver, ESA's Mars Express spacecraft has captured a stunning shot of a huge swathe of the Martian environment. The image, snapped on February 25, captures a number of impressive features present on the surface of the Red Planet, including the Martian south pole, an enormous basin and two vast channels.
Six people have begun a year-long mission to Mars without ever leaving Earth. Last week on the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii, the volunteers sealed themselves inside a dome habitat where they will live in isolation for one year on a simulated space mission. The fourth Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS 4) aims to study how deep space missions can maintain morale on prolonged voyages.
A new study has revealed that during the period in which the red planet's distinctive valleys supposedly formed, the Martian atmosphere may have already been too depleted to maintain the free-running water that it is believed to have carved out the geological features.
Should we ever want to set up any sort of base or colony on Mars, it's inevitably going to require water to support life, but transporting enough liquids to the Red Planet is likely to be impractical. With NASA and others planning manned Mars missions, a team based in Singapore is already working on a specialized Martian rover that could be used to "mine" for water below the planet's crimson surface.
Buying tickets into space has typically been the reserve of governments and billionaires, but if you want to send your name on an interplanetary jaunt NASA might now be able to accommodate you. The space agency is now accepting submissions from members of the public who'd like their names recorded on a silicon microchip and shuttled to the Red Planet onboard the InSight Mars lander launching next year.
The Curiosity rover has now been on Mars for three years, and to mark the occasion, NASA has released two new tools designed to both educate the public and help scientists select future landing sites. The tools allow visitors to learn more about Curiosity and its mission and explore the Martian surface by climbing aboard Curiosity for a virtual tour.