Mars Ice Homes: Everything you need to know about NASA's futuristic abode for astronauts on the red planet

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 02 January 2017, 08:08 PM
Igloos on Mars: All you need to know about NASA's futuristic ice homes
Igloos on Mars: All you need to know about NASA's futuristic ice homes

Astronauts live in space to explore the various aspects of the universe that consist of stars, sun, moon, planets and more. The life they live is what we all fancy and wonder what it will be like to live on other planets such as Mars. 

One of the most anticipated projects is NASA's Mars mission and space and science enthusiasts eagerly await for information from the red planet.

But have you ever thought how difficult it is to live on Mars? Creating a living space for the astronauts has been one of the biggest challenges faced by NASA researchers. After years of struggle, NASA has finally come up with a novel housing concept that would protect the astronauts from harsh weather. The futuristic home will be like igloo, yes, it will be made out of ice and has officially been named as Mars Ice Home.  

The Mars Ice Home will be inflatable, will look like igloos covered with ice. The astronauts will be able to live safely, will be protected from extreme temperatures and high-energy radiations and work in it.

"After a day dedicated to identifying needs, goals, and constraints we rapidly assessed many crazy, out of the box ideas and finally converged on the current Ice Home design, which provides a sound engineering solution," said senior systems engineer Kevin Vipavetz, from NASA’s Langley Research Centre in Virginia, Science Alert reported.

The Mars Ice Home, which will be inner-tube-like device, when inflated fully, will be covered by a thick blanket of ice.

Science Alert quoted the team who said that, "The Mars Ice Home design has several advantages that make it an appealing concept. It is lightweight and can be transported and deployed with simple robotics, then filled with water before the crew arrives."

"It incorporates materials extracted from Mars, and because water in the Ice Home could potentially be converted to rocket fuel for the Mars Ascent Vehicle, the structure itself doubles as a storage tank that can be refilled for the next crew."

Cosmic rays can penetrate the Martian atmosphere and they are so harmful that they can damage cells, raising the risk of a slew of health concerns such as cancer and acute radiation sickness. This is why the Ice Home concept.

Because the ice is rich in hydrogen, it acts as a protective shield against harmful rays.

An illustration explaining the structure of the ice dome was also released by the scientists. Here it is:

"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," explains researcher Sheila Ann Thibeault, also from the Langley Research Centre, as per Science Alert.

"After months of travel in space, when you first arrive at Mars and your new home is ready for you to move in, it will be a great day," explains team member Kevin Kempton.

First Published: Monday, January 02, 2017 05:47 PM
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