Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageWhat will it be like to live on Mars? Special

By Tim Sandle     Jan 12, 2020 in Science
London - Plans continue to be drawn up, by both NASA and private companies like SpaceX, for sending humans to Mars. Once a Mars colony is established, what might it be like? London's Design Museum explores different concepts.
After the first Mars missions it is likely that humanity will establish a Mars colony, perhaps leading to a future city. What might this structure look like? How will people interact? What clothes will be suitable? Could plant based food be grown? These are some of the questions posed at an exciting new exhibition at London's Design Museum.
Model of the European Space Agency Ariane space rocket  outside the Design Museum in London.
Model of the European Space Agency Ariane space rocket, outside the Design Museum in London.
The exhibition is titled "Moving to Mars" and it looks at multiple aspects of humanity's interest with Mars, beginning with early astronomical observations.
A large projected image of Mars  as shown at the Design Museum.
A large projected image of Mars, as shown at the Design Museum.
To speculative fiction, and science fiction movies.
Mars as imagined in books and movies  on show at the Design Museum exhibition.
Mars as imagined in books and movies, on show at the Design Museum exhibition.
Before dealing with the design concepts of what life on Mars might be like. How survival on Mars might become possible is explored through more than 200 exhibits. These make for a compelling exhibition, where design meets science, considering the topic of living on Mars in a thoughtful and intelligent way.
Model of a possible Mars base. Outside  Mars is basically an extremely cold desert with no oxygen in...
Model of a possible Mars base. Outside, Mars is basically an extremely cold desert with no oxygen in its atmosphere.
The objects include space suits, which need to be more robust than those used for Moon landings of space walks, in order to protect astronauts from radiation and to help maintain bone density.
A potential design for a spacesuit for Mars mission.
A potential design for a spacesuit for Mars mission.
The exhibition also considers what types of clothes might be worn inside a Mars base. Inspired the idea of recycling the materials taken on the mission, some ideas from designer Anna Talvi are presented.
Clothes for Mars? What might humans be wearing when living in a Martian city?
Clothes for Mars? What might humans be wearing when living in a Martian city?
This is presented as both objects to observe and interact as with, as well as specially commissioned films which provide a multi-sensory experience (the audience sit on knobbly surface that imitates that of Mars, and there are smells too that are intended to represent the planet). The most interesting of these is a sound-and-image experience of the Martian day, projected onto three vast screens.
A multi-sensory experience: a movie depicting life on the red planet.
A multi-sensory experience: a movie depicting life on the red planet.
Other films feature astronaut Tim Peake, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, scientist Professor Sanjeev Gupta from Imperial College London.
Other videos present future design concepts for a Mars base:
What might living on Mars be like? A series of video displays shown some artistic concepts.
What might living on Mars be like? A series of video displays shown some artistic concepts.
The exhibition also features ecological considerations. If we establish a Mars colony, can we ensure that we do not damage the planet in the same way that Earth has been harmed? Here there is a conversation to be had about working with limited resources and what this approach could teach us about designing more sustainably on Earth. This extends to the use of a model of a functioning hydroponic farm, for growing plants as food.
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture  which is a method of growing plants without soil by instead...
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Imagined here for a Martian colony.
In terms of living quarters, Xavier De Kestelier and Hassell Studios have created a full-scale model of the interior of what one of these would look like, in the form of interconnected pods.
A full-size replica of a pod concept  designed for living on Mars. Behind is a a panoramic view of t...
A full-size replica of a pod concept, designed for living on Mars. Behind is a a panoramic view of the Martian landscape.
The furniture inside such a pod is most likely to be produced by 3D printing, once the first colonists arrive. the exhibition includes some potential designs (which proved to be surprisingly comfortable to sit on):
3D printed furniture  made from a tough form of plastic. This is the type of furniture that could be...
3D printed furniture, made from a tough form of plastic. This is the type of furniture that could be produced by the first astronauts to live on Mars.
In terms of constructing a Mars base, it is likely that robots will play a major role:
Representation of a robotic device helping to construct a future Mars base.
Representation of a robotic device helping to construct a future Mars base.
As to what the end result might be?
Artistic model of a future base on Mars.
Artistic model of a future base on Mars.
The exhibition also focuses on upcoming missions to Mars, including a model of the ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover. This is a planned robotic Mars rover, part of the international ExoMars programme led by the European Space Agency and the Russian Roscosmos State Corporation.
The Rosalind Franklin rover is an autonomous six-wheeled terrain vehicle with mass approximately 300...
The Rosalind Franklin rover is an autonomous six-wheeled terrain vehicle with mass approximately 300 kg.
The rover will be supported by other vehicles, utilizing solar power technology.
A smaller rover craft designed to work on the surface of Mars.
A smaller rover craft designed to work on the surface of Mars.
'Moving to Mars' is currently on show at the Design Museum, London.
More about Mars, martian, living on mars, design museum
More news from
Latest News
Top News