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Monday, December 18, 2000

Concepts Developed For Long-Term Habitation

We received this from Dan Hussain of the Pittsburgh Mars Society. Here's a small portion of his email:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- University of Arkansas School of Architecture researchers and students, in cooperation with NASA, have developed concepts for long-term habitation of Mars in response to the Mars Reference Mission, developed at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Ted Krueger, assistant professor of architecture, Jerry Wall, professor of architecture and David J. Fitts, B. Arch. '80, Flight Crew Support Division of NASA, asked students to design living and working conditions for the Mars surface. The students addressed issues related to the interior design of capsules for Mars, types of living quarters on the planet's surface, the design of rovers or jeeps for ground transportation on the planet and ultimately, the formation of a larger outpost to sustain a permanent human presence on the planet.

The students had to address conditions on the Red Planet that do not exist on Earth. The climate on Mars is generally very cold (the average daily temperature is minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit) and can vary significantly daily. Low atmospheric pressure, varied terrain, limited mobility and reduced gravity also affect habitability.

This all translates into a need to protect the crew members from Mars' harsh environment and design large, habitable spaces that provide room for living quarters, personal space, a comfortable work environment, medical and research space and recreational space.

The teams each designed several examples that could be used by NASA in the future (plus a coffee maker that works in 0 gravity!) To read the full letter visit the Pittsburgh Mars Society homepage.

- posted by Alex @ 17:58 EST