NASA has unveiled designs for 3D-printed towers that could shelter the first humans on Mars.
Each of the striking structures would house living spaces as well as a laboratory for experiments.Plans revealed by NASA were cooked up by the winners of its 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge.
The competition tasked teams across the US to submit designs for a habitat that could one day house the first astronauts on Mars.
First place was taken by team “SEArch+/Apis Cor” from New York.
Their twisted, tower-like “Mars X House” — which exists only as digital renderings for now — can be bolstered with 3D-printed add-ons.
The team’s plan involves multiple Mars X Houses being built on Mars by AI-powered robots before humans arrive to live in them.
“Mars X House is autonomously constructed using indigenous Martian materials,” NASA said in a video about the designs.
“It forms a pioneering and durable habitat supporting future human missions to Mars.”
Astronauts would both live and work in the complex, which lets natural light filter in through holes dotted around the facade.
Mock-ups of the structures show astronauts working in the lab and relaxing in their rooms, with one boffin even cracking out an acoustic guitar for a bit of R&R.
Mars X House was one of three winners of NASA’s Habitat Challenge.Second place went to Team Zoperhous from Arkansas, whose shelter would be printed by an autonomous rover.Connecticut group Mars Incubator came in third with a design that includes space to grow plants for food.