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To the Greeks, Iris was a messenger Goddess, closing the gap between heaven and Earth.

Long term explorers of Mars are expected never to return to Earth. This would pave the way for the collapse of relationships between Earth and Mars. Residents would face issues of untrained immune systems and loss of bone and muscle density, forcibly confining them and future generations to a life on Mars.

Red Iris is a sustainable, long term Martian base. With return trips, astronauts would spend less than ten years of productive work on Mars before healthily returning to Earth. To achieve such a feat, the issue of gravity must be overcome. As Mars has a third the gravity of Earth, living in such an environment would likely significantly reduce muscle and bone density and require extensive daily exercise. A centrifuge would solve these problems by simulating Earth’s Gravity on a circular loop train.

The train would serve as a living and work space, banked at 68 degrees to the horizontal with a 65-meter diameter. The train would run on a mixed-permeability in-situ maglev system with superconductor, MgB2 arranged in coils and cooled by liquid hydrogen. The 17 Tesla magnetic field produced by the superconductor would protect astronauts from Mars’ intense radiation. Equipment inside would be protected from the magnetic fields by Mars-produced iron, lining the cars. The track would be formed from laminated Iron, and the mixed-p system would allow for pods to levitate even when stationary. Minimal energy would be required to maintain steady motion due to low Martian gravity combined with near zero electromagnetic drag and air resistance.

A large radio mast, made from a carbon fibre composite, would be erected in the centre of the site during construction. It would function as a structural supercapacitor with the ability to store a few days of electricity produced from solar and wind operations. Furthermore, the mast would support a large wind turbine providing much needed electricity during dust storms. The main building would begin as a dome, with the dome’s material being fed from the bottom to the top of the mast. Astronauts would plant bamboo, some of which is guided into spirals around the interior of the dome. When humans return six years later, the bamboo could be harvested annually to form new floors, supported by the mast and outer spirals.

The building would grow over several years. Upon completion, bamboo could be harvested from the top of the dome for use on other bases, allowing for exponential growth as more bases are constructed. With maglev quickly, efficiently and safely transporting cars across the planet, bases would be widespread and diverse in location. This means that only one of each heavy or expensive machine would be required to serve all bases. Rovers could explore more places by utilising the maglev tracks and driving on tyres when suitable. This system provides a canvas from which the best research may be achieved over many years.