The Challenges of Building A House on Mars

Because of the relative motions of Earth and Mars, the pioneering astronauts who touch down on the Red Planet will remain there for a year and a half. For this reason, NASA has already started experimenting with a habitat fit for life on Mars.

Last year, students at the University of Wisconsin won the XHab competition to design and build an inflatable loft addition to a habitat shell that NASA had already constructed. The final structure now serves as a working model that is being tested in the Arizona desert," writes Morgan E. Peck.

"Like any home, it's a sacred bulwark against the elements; but not just the cold, heat and pests of Arizona. A Mars habitat will have to protect astronauts from cosmic rays, solar flares and unknown soil compositions all while keeping inhabitants happy and comfortable."

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