The concept of Mars habitat seems more like a movie scene. The main element of this latest design depends on a thing that may or may not be in abundance over Mars, it may be ice or underground water. The “Mars Ice Home” refers to a large sized inflatable dome that has water ice shell around it. NASA claims that these designs can be counted among one of the many concepts that can be used in creation of sustainable residences or accommodations for future Martian explorers. The idea was generated by a team working at NASA that began with the concept of using few resources over this planet to create a habitat that can keep humans safe whenever they go there to explore the planet. This will be a biggest line of protection against high-energy radiations that accommodate the Red planet.
The senior systems engineers who also played a key role in design session, Kevin Vipavetz, says, “Many crazy, out of the box ideas and finally converged on the current Ice Home design, which provides a sound engineering solution.” The biggest benefit of Mars Ice Home is that it is a lightweight one and can be deployed easily using few simple robotics and then filling it up with water before the crew comes on the spot. The ice will be the astronaut’s full protection against radiations and will also be a safe harbor that can be called home. The structure also plays role of water storage tank which can either be used by astronauts for their personal use or to be formulated as rocket fuel for the upcoming Mars Ascent vehicle. The structure can then the refilled easily for the next crew.
The other concepts proposed accommodation of astronauts in caves, in darkness, or under the ground. All these options sound quite bleak and wasteful. The team claims that the Ice Home concept will balance their requirement for protection from radiations and will save them the trouble of living underground. Kevin Kempton further adds, “All of the materials we’ve selected are translucent, so some outside daylight can pass through and make it feel like you’re in a home and not a cave.” Another researchers, Sheila Ann Thibeault, says, “The materials that make up the Ice Home will have to withstand many years of use in the harsh Martian environment, including ultraviolet radiation, charged-particle radiation, possibly some atomic oxygen, perchlorates, as well as dust storms – although not as fierce as in the movie ‘The Martian’.”
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