Although the term Colonization has many interpretations, it always refers to the way the people occupy certain space. So the question is: How do we imagine life on the Red Planet?
The evolution of the human body has always been dependent on the environment of earth; so thinking about how to live on a different planet in intrinsically linked to the evolution of the body, which will probably suffer from a physiological transformation as a way to acclimatize to their new environment.
Therefore, we imagine this architecture as a living organism which, like the human body, will evolve in order to be able to adapt to the new environment. An environment which, as on Earth, goes through different climatic stages during the year.
Thus, our first field of investigation were the climatic and topographic conditions, and defining the following conditions that has been fundamental to our design:
– The temperature, which is only regular in the equatorial area, with a media of 20º, making this area the first target for the colonization.
– Sun radiation, that heats the martian atmosphere , raising the dust from the earth, and shrouding the planet in a coat of fog that can last for months, raising the higher parts of the atmosphere up to 30ºC, but withholding sunlight from the surface.
– Big craters up to 200km in diameter serve as a natural protection to the adverse conditions.
The idea was clear, why not take advantage of these conditions in order to enable life in Mars? The habitats we propose will raise up during the long periods of hot sand storms, seeking the sun light and heat, as if they were trees above a flood plain. Instead, after the end of this storms, the temperature drop will make them descend to their original position of protection at the center of the crater.
Initially, we need to ask ourselves about what it is and what is going to be happening in this hostile land. Our utopia is based in the recent research carried out by NASA that proves the surviving capacity of particular lichens and fungi considered “exremophile” due their resistance to extreme temperatures, intense radiations and dehydration. The new martian life, from this vegetation that can survive such harsh conditions, a new atmosphere will be born. It will convert the Martian atmosphere, currently unfit for humans or crops, into a new life source.
The first stage of the design will be to melt reserves of frozen water, flooding the lowest part of the craters. 3D printers will build thin metallic structures, using the basalt present in the ground, that will act as a structure for the lichens and fungi, which will change CO2 to O2. At the same moment, the printers will also create the thin meshes made of epoxy resin and fungi mycelium (known for it structural capabilities and its strength to extreme conditions), that will allow us to cover the craters, making spaces of controlled atmosphere, that will allow a breathable atmosphere within 6 months.