The Index Project
Index Award 2019 Finalists
Next stop, Mars.

Can and should we colonise the red planet? That question seems to be on the lips of every star-gazer -- from kids to space exploration experts. It’s 2019 and we’ve been given a time limit of 30 years to save the planet and, if we don’t change our ways, we could be looking at extinction. Some even say it’s too late for us. 

Whether moving to an alien environment 54.6 million kilometres away incites fear or excitement. It never hurts to have a contingency plan, right?

MARSHA is a 3D-printed vertical home designed for life on Mars. The four-levelled, egg-shaped container is specially designed to handle internal atmospheric pressure and structural stresses. A large portion of the building materials are harvested from the planet’s surface and, best of all, the home has a minimal footprint.

MARSHA uses a unique dual-shell system to isolate the habitable spaces from the natural expansion and contraction caused by extreme temperature swings on Mars. As a result, the interior is free to be light, airy, highly mass-optimised, and human: a tiny bubble of Earth on a distant world. 

“We choose to go to the moon. Not because it is easy, but because it is hard,” - John F. Kennedy.

Dreaming and pushing boundaries is a fundamental part of being human. But, are we ready to accept defeat on our home planet? All ethical questions aside, this type of research and development will help us figure out how to settle in some of our world’s harshest conditions - should that be required. For decades, researchers, scientists and architects have been designing habitats for the Antarctic by replicating how they’d design homes for settling on the moon. 

“We developed these technologies for space but, they have the potential to transform the way we build on earth,” said David Malott, CEO and Founder of AI SpaceFactory. 

Who knows when and if Marsha will ever make it to Mars but, the design has already been recognised by NASA for its ingenuity and potential feasibility.

Designers: AI SpaceFactory - USA
UN SDGs: Industry, innovation and infrastructure & Sustainable cities and communities

Marsha from The Index Project on Vimeo. Music: Lee Rosevere