Modular Mars is a multipurpose permanent habitat on Mars. The mission is expected to launch in 2035. The concept behind this project is to rethink our perception of a Martian base. Inspired by earth architecture and how our ancestors built their homes using mud brick. Rovers will be sent to Mars to build the habitat 2 years prior to the human arrival. The robot will build the shell by creating modules made of Martian soil. The Martian soil bricks will be stacked up, with techniques inspired by mud brick architecture, creating the outer shell of the soon to be Martian base. Inflatable membranes self-inflate out of well-placed pieces of the transport shuttle within the outer shell. Martian soil is a natural protector against the radiation, dust and wind of space but is toxic to humans. Therefore, the internal inflatable membrane serves a separating layer between the people inside it and the outer shell. This smooth yet sturdy looking project hopes to withstand the dust storms and harsh climate of the Red planet.
The plan is for different types of semi-autonomous robots pre-programmed for digging, moulding and transporting to Mars and build the settlements. They will use a cold press technique to fuse together the elements of the soil, to create a building material that will act as a permanent shield against radiation and extreme temperatures. The resulting connected, dome-shaped houses are designed to have private and communal spaces. The interiors will be full of virtual environments to break up the monotony of life indoors. This design focuses on looping essential systems into as many multi-functional roles as possible to ensure that the very limited resources are used and reused as much as possible.
The potential of 3D Printing with in-situ materials on Mars is significant in that we may be able to build structures without bringing heavy equipment, materials, and structures from Earth. Equipment to be used within the habitat can be printed on Mars rather transported from earth. The ability of construction to be handled semi-autonomously before the arrival of astronauts with digital manufacturing techniques is as compelling as it is technically challenging. Because construction techniques and transit vehicles are so linked with the overall outcome of the habitat, Modular Mars outlines a deployment and construction sequence involving the use of a projected Mars descent vehicle, a deployable membrane, and semi-autonomous robotic rovers.
Mars Rover is a concept vehicle specifically designed for the needs of the Mars Modular project sent prior to the human arrival. The rover can be both autonomous and piloted. The vehicle works both for installation, exploration and experiments. It is equipped with a robotic arm that takes various positions and has a custom designed head that can lift and place the modules using suction. The back half holds storage spaces and a small testing lab. It is equipped with a radio and navigation, ready for exploring the Red Planet.