NASA Ames Research Center  + Visit the NASA portal Site Accessibility Notes

Preliminary Design
Living on Mars
By: Mrs. Laird's Class


student drawing of habitat on Mars

Narrative Description

Our idea for a habitat on Mars is to live in a double layered stainless steel dome built in a crater. Living in a crater would be easier than drilling into the ground since Mars' ground is as hard as rock. The dome would be covered in regolith to protect us from ultra violet light and would keep us safer from meteors.

There would also be water running through the stainless steel to give us extra protection from UV light. Under the layer of stainless steel there would be huge lights and two even larger bubbles that would contain algae and plant life. The water pipe would be attached to a sprinkler system that would water the algae and plants that would provide us with oxygen since we wouldn‚t be able to reach them.

We would have windmills outside, above the regolith, to give us electricity since Mars‚s main strength is wind. We would also have solar panels inside attached to periscopes. Periscopes would reflect light from the outside to the inside using mirrors. The solar panels cost A LOT of money so that would save us a lot of money. We would have extra periscope for light during the day so we could save electricity for when we really needed it.

We would have an elevator to get into the dome. The entrance to get to the elevator would be made of concrete and steel. Living space would be on the ground floor of the dome, as would an extra algae pool. The dome would be pressurized and it would have a big heater because Mars is very far away from the sun and it is very cold.

student drawing of living dome

Our preliminary design is for a living dome made up of two layers. It is in a crater covered with regolith. It has a periscope up through the regolith to the surface of Mars. It has lights on the ceiling for the night. All of the plants will be stored in the same dome. There is a pool of algae with bamboo around it. There will be heaters on the sides of the dome. The dome will be pressurized. A windmill will generate the electricity. There are ways to get in and out of the dome. It is made of metal.

The reasons for our dome to be underground and covered with regolith are to protect us from windstorms, ultraviolet light, and meteor showers. Also it is in a crater because the ground on Mars is like rock. It would be very hard to drill a hole for the dome in the ground. The reason we have a windmill is because the Sun will not be shining at nighttime so the periscope will not be able to reflect light into the dome and it is very windy on Mars. We have bamboo because it spreads fast and a pool of algae to give us oxygen. There will be other plants also. The heaters are in the dome because Mars is very cold and we need to stay warm. It is made of metal because it is strong and won‚t biodegrade.

 FirstGov  NASA

NASA Official: Mark León
Last Updated: May 2005
+ Contact Us