One of the biggest challenges to living on Mars is housing. The planet lacks the natural materials necessary to build traditional houses and transporting those materials from Earth would be tricky. But a new research team has come up with a solution that might enable Mars travelers to create communities on the Red Planet.
The structure would use ice on the surface of the planet to build what has been dubbed the “Mars Ice Home.” Researchers noted the large amount of ice found just beneath the planet’s surface, which can be used to build structures that both block radiation and scale to meet evolving needs.
The Mars Ice Home is just one of many ideas the team came up with while conceptualizing possible solutions. However, an ice structure has many benefits that other ideas don’t, including the fact that it could be crafted by robots before humans arrived on the planet.
One of the biggest drawbacks to an ice structure is that it would take more than a year to fill with ice. NASA is already hard at work on a mission planned for 2018, but early missions will be designed to test the possibility of life on the planet.