“We can’t help it. Life looks for life.” – Carl Sagan
Venturing out is a nasty business. It seems as though the long years of sedentary lifestyles of the post-Columbian era have somewhat pacified the need for exploration and wandering beyond one’s backyard or the proverbial backpacking experience in the continent of your own choosing. Travel has become a type of commodity rather than a means of discovery.
From this departure away the nomad lifestyle, springs forth the architectural grand opus of our species, mainly concerned with immobile, eternal structures bound to places they are constructed at – a kind of ode to the finally settled human race that has explored all the corners of world, content therefore to spend their days in the safety of dwellings, observing the world in a kind of self-satisfied daze.
It is not until the space program that this thirst for exploration is once again truly ignited, with the first visits to a frontier that has been, a complete mystery. Efforts to put people on celestial bodies in our cosmic neighborhood however have proven a daunting task. The reality of the situation is – space is the most hostile environment that we have ever encountered, and as such we are faced with an oxymoron – if we are to travel we must bring our home with us.
The MARS H2.0 Tower is an attempt to engage this problem by proposing a piece of architecture that acts not only as a dwelling, but also as an active generator of favorable conditions and resources on inhospitable terrain.
The life-cycle of the MARS H2.0 begins on Earth. It is assembled and deployed as a space ship to Mars. From this point it travels to our neighboring planet with minimal crew and extensive robotic “staff” to set up a primary point of residence on the foreign world.
The first issue once the structure lands is to use the flight deck in the top portion of the vessel to push up the structure and properly deploy it by gently ascending and pulling the honeycomb with it while twisting 360 degrees to solidify the rising structure through a locking mechanism which makes the honeycomb shell the main loadbearing element.
After the structure is fully erected the soft capsules of the skin that is inside every hexagonal oculus start to pneumatically expand. At this time the siphoning pipes unravel and reach Martian regolith or the ice deposits depending on the landing site. These extensions can heat up the subterranean ice and capture the moisture from the water gas that is released. When dealing with the direct contact with ice above ground, it burrows deep into the shelf and starts heating the ice to form a Rodriguez Well, a technique that is well known to explorers in the Arctic as means to create sources of water in an otherwise frozen landscape.
Once the source of water has been established, the structures begins siphoning it and storing water into the soft capsules.