A lot of people are very passionate about building a substantial human presence on Mars, from Carl Sagan to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
But a company just drew up plans for the first human city on Mars, according to a press release from ABIBOO.
(Some images used in this story are sourced from ABIBOO)
Called Nüwa City, the first large-scale Martian settlement could house 250,000 people (some say 1 million) and be built along and into the side of a colossal cliff where the people of Mars would have access to sunlight without risking overexposure to the deadly threat of cosmic radiation.
First settlers will be moving in by the year 2100. If you were born today, you may just make it at 80 years old, if your body can take the liftoff and landing.
Dealing with life conditions
ABIBOO did the work of considering how a city on Mars could function and ultimately prosper. The side of a cliff on the Red Planet will enable settlers to live in personal homes, with other areas committed to agricultural and energy purposes, where people may raise livestock or generate energy from the sun.
Mars’ atmospheric pressure is less than 1% of Earth’s and the temperature is cold enough to melt tears.
“We had to do a lot of analysis based on computing and working with the scientists to try to understand what are the circumstances that we will face,” said Alfredo Muñoz, founder of architecture studio ABIBOO. “We have to face challenges that are very specific to the conditions of Mars, one of them being gravity, which is only one-third of the gravity on Earth.”
Several oceans’ worth of ancient water could be stored in minerals buried under Mars’ surface, according to a new study published in the journal Science.
“Water is one of the great advantages that Mars offers, it helps to be able to get the proper materials for the construction,” said Muñoz. “Basically, with the water and the CO2, we can generate carbon and with the carbon, we can generate steel.”
Critically, the ABIBOO plans to use only Mars-sourced materials to build the first city on the planet.
Living quarters on Nüwa
If you decide to move to Mars, your $300,000 ticket to Nüwa will get you a residential unit of 25 to 35 sqm, full access to facilities, life support services, food, and “a binding work contract to devote between 60% and 80% of your work-time to tasks assigned by the city,” according to ABIBOO.
People will travel by train and bus outside the cliffside and by huge elevator systems inside the cliffside.
“At the foot of the cliff, large pavilions have been located for social interaction in the Valley. These pavilions have been designed with translucent skin to offer views of the landscapes of Mars. These domes are protected from external radiation by large overflying canopies. The material from the cliff’s excavation is dumped on top of such roofs, protecting from radiation. In the Valley, there are also specific structures to house hospitals, schools and universities, sports and cultural activities, shopping areas, and train stations that communicate with the space shuttle,” describes ABIBOO.
An ABIBOO spokesperson told Popular Mechanics there isn’t yet an exact year to start building Nüwa, despite false reports of construction beginning in 2054.
ABIBOO residents will have access to a shuttle to and from Earth every 26 months, with launch windows lasting between 1 and 3 months. But even if people urgently needed medicine or other supplies from Earth, the wait will be at the very least a number of months.
Green areas, animals, and food
All modules contain green areas and urban gardens with animals and bodies of water designed to provide physical well-being, and spaces for art. To create an emotional connection with earth, the design team has included vast, artificially created two natural spaces called ‘green domes: One that allows human presence and acts as a park, and another that includes experimental vegetation in an environment with a purely Martian atmosphere.
The ‘macro-buildings’ on the cliff are connected by high-speed elevator systems and have intermediate stops at the ‘sky-lobbies’, that connect the ‘macro-buildings’ with a separate elevating system.
The highest point of the cliff is the mesa, a vast plain that contains the infrastructure dedicated to manufacturing, food production, and energy generation.