The Mars Homestead™ Project

The mission of the Mars Homestead™ Project is to design, fund, build and operate the first permanent settlement on Mars. At least this is what we can read at the web-site of the project and this statement just drives us to think about all the human efforts to inhabitat the moon and all the science-fiction histories about the rest of the universe, as we can see in magazines and books from the 40s and 50s:

But can these science fiction approachs come true? In the past years we have seen at the NASA site and other news as BBC that it it’s possible that maybe someday we will find traces of life in the Red Planet with the discovery of evidence of water on Mars. Some images has contributed to scientists’ conclusion that water has flowed across portions of the planet’s surface relatively recently:

Reading all these information seems that it’s not so crazy to think that the Mars Homestead Project could be a reality in the future. They have a program that includes members with a professional or academic experience in applicable engineering areas. Areas of expertise that include Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems, Architecture, Agriculture, Nutrition, EHS, IE, Mars Geology/Topography, Space Transportation, Spacesuits, Systems Integration, and many others:

The initial goal for the Mars Homestead Project is to identify the core technologies needed for an economical, growing Mars Base built primarily with local materials. Efforts will then be focused on prototype projects of increasing sophistication. These could include the selection of existing equipment which could be used on Mars, or the construction of prototypes of new equipment.

One of these prototypes was designed by Andreas Hofmann [Swiss Industrial Designer] and is called Priwab. The prototype is a room concept addressing long period space travel (Mars Mission, International Space Station). Focused on human needs it offers an individual and personal environment within the general and common area of space ships/stations. Because of its basic and established technology, Priwab is designed to be achievable in the near future.

The question here is if we really need more cities in the outer space if we’re not able to manage our own cities here, on Earth? All of these are valuable efforts and technological advances are important, but we’re already militarizing the outer space and filling it with spatial garbage… and what for? Some scientifics think that is unethical to send humans into space, but there are also other space professionals that have reasons to inhabitat outer space: to secure a future for humanity, to build a new frontier, to find new energy sources and to build industrial settlements, among others.

David Licata has commented in a related previous post, that completely self-sustaining space stations are an intriguing idea, but in such an unforgiving environment as outer space, it’s safe to say that we’ll need our neighbors (in their space stations) even more than we need to cooperate with our neighbors here. These words can be related to new cities on Mars too.

Are these proposals the NEW Instant Cities or the NEW New Babylons proposed in the 60s? Are we going to be able to handle new cities in a better way just because they’re so far away? Let’s think about it.


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