- Tram Ho
According to Business Insider, the complex, called “Mars Dune Alpha”, is the product of a collaboration between Texas construction technology company Icon and architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group.
Icon is known as a company capable of building constructions in the field without needing to assemble or pair separate components together. Their 3D printer, called the Vulcan, will print out each layer of cement to simulate the real Martian terrain. This complex was built for the purpose of collecting necessary data, thereby supporting the survival of the crew on future missions.
3D printers are becoming more and more popular. They can be built in a very short time, and in some cases it only takes a few hours to have such a house. In 2019, Icon teamed up with New Story, a non-profit housing company in San Francisco, to pilot production of a tiny house of just 32 square meters in 48 hours.
When fully built, Mars Dune Alpha will include multiple rooms that can be customized for each crew member.
” We wanted to develop a complex as realistic as possible to support humanity’s dream of reaching for the stars, ” said Jason Ballard, Icon’s co-founder and CEO.
Mars Dune Alpha will be 158 square feet, located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Space Center Houston is described as a hub for human aeronautics. The results obtained from the simulated missions here will help NASA better prepare for the real challenges of space exploration.
The layout of the complex is organized with privacy first
Four private areas for the crew are located at one end of the complex, while the treatment room and robotic station are located at the opposite end. The entertainment area and the kitchen are right in the middle.
The primary material used in the construction process is lavacrete, a cement-based mixture consisting of finely ground red lava rock, cement, and water.
Dedicated workstations, medical stations, and food-growing stations will all be located inside the complex.
Mars Dune Alpha has ceilings with different heights depending on the area. Its entire shell structure is designed in the form of a dome.
According to Icon, this design emphasizes the unique experience of each area and avoids boredom and limits crew member fatigue.
The interior is arranged in a combination of fixed and movable.
As a result, crew members can rearrange their living areas according to their day-to-day needs.
The complex will also have customizable lighting, temperature, and sound control systems.
These features are added to help regulate the daily routines, circadian rhythms, and overall health of crew members.
“This is the most realistic simulation complex ever built by humans,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of Icon.
According to Ballard, the construction of this Mars complex has shown that large-scale 3D printing technology has been, is and will be an essential part of the toolkit humanity needs on Earth, as well as when to the Moon and Mars.
Candidates who want to join the Mars mission must be between the ages of 30-55 and in good physical condition.
They must not suffer from motion sickness, and must be ready to eat foods similar to meals for real astronauts during this simulator mission.
Reference: Business Insider
Source : Genk