A team of researchers has developed a plan on how humans could colonize Mars, the Moon or potentially any planet in the solar system.
In a new study, scientists at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland designed a self-sustaining research base that could potentially support manned missions for several years at a time.
The multi-step plan involves sending a robot to Mars to build the base, take advantage of the red planet's natural resources and finally send a team to its surface that could live there for at least nine months.
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Scientists from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne of Switzerland designed a self-sustaining research base that could support manned missions for several years at a time.
Like others have theorized before, EPFL scientists believe that humans are more likely to find success by establishing a base at the north pole of Mars.
Many experts, including technology billionaire Elon Musk, have suggested that the poles of Mars are adequate to sustain human life because they contain vital natural resources.
"Poles may pose more challenges at the beginning, but they are the best long-term location, because they harbor natural resources that we can use," said Anne-Marlene Ruede, the study's lead author, in a statement. .
"We wanted to develop a strategy based on the technologies that have been selected accordingly and outline a test scenario so that within 20 years, astronauts can carry out this type of mission."
His plan foresees that the research base could one day support human colonies, something that would develop in the next generations.
It follows a NASA competition that requires teams to present 3D printed habitats that they believe could be used to colonize the red planet in the coming decades.
The research base would consist of three different modules, according to the scientists.
They imagine sending a robot to Mars to build the base, take advantage of the red planet's natural resources and send a crew to its surface that could live there for at least nine months.
The main accessory of the base would include a central core 12.5 meters high and five meters in diameter. Three living capsules would be attached to the nucleus through air chambers
The main accessory of the base would include a central core 12.5 meters high and five meters in diameter.
Scientists describe it as a "minimal living space" that would house all important materials and goods.
Three living capsules would be attached to the nucleus through air chambers.
Covering the space would be a dome made of polyethylene fiber and a layer of ice three meters thick, so it is a pseudo-igloo structure.
"The dome would also represent an additional living space, provide a second barrier to protect the crew against radiation and micrometeoroids, and help maintain constant pressure inside the base," according to the study.
In addition, they imagine the creation of a system of cranes that would orbit around Mars, serving as a point of transfer of goods between the ferries coming from Earth and the base on Mars.
They imagine the creation of a crane system (in the image) that would orbit around Mars, serving as a point of transfer of goods between the ferries coming from Earth and the base on Mars.
The crane could be reused up to six times and reduce the size of the load sent from the Earth between each trip. Once a ferry is docked, the vehicle unloads the cargo
It could be reused up to six times and reduce the size of the load sent from Earth between each trip.
"The vehicle's docking system would be similar to the one used on the International Space Station: once a ferry was docked, the vehicle would unload the cargo and the crew and leave them on Mars," the researchers said.
Before sending a crew to the surface of the red planet, they would transport robots to Mars that could build the base before the humans arrive.
The robots will also test the natural resources available for use on the site.
Once melted, it is believed that the poles north and south of Mars are capable of producing water, oxygen and nitrogen, which are necessary to sustain human life.
It is believed that other chemicals in the air and Mars materials in their soil are essential for the construction of elements such as bricks, glass and plastic, or even fuels such as hydrogen and methanol.
"All that would make the research base self-sustaining in the long term," the study said.
The study follows a NASA competition that requires teams to present 3D printed habitats (in the image) that they believe could be used to colonize the red planet in the coming decades.
WHAT ARE NASA'S PLANS FOR A MISSION DIRECTED TO MARS IN THE 2030s?
Mars has become the next giant leap for the exploration of space by humanity.
But before humans reach the red planet, astronauts will take a series of small steps back to the moon for a one-year mission.
The details of a mission in the lunar orbit have been revealed as part of a timeline of events leading to missions to Mars in the 2030s.
NASA has outlined its four-stage plan (in the photo) that it hopes will one day allow humans to visit Mars at the Human to Mars Summit, held yesterday in Washington DC. This will involve multiple missions to the moon in the coming decades
In May of 2017, Greg Williams, assistant deputy administrator of policies and plans at NASA, outlined the four-stage plan of the space agency that he hopes will one day allow humans to visit Mars, as well as their planned time.
Phase one and two It will involve multiple trips to the lunar space, to allow the construction of a habitat that will provide a preparation area for the trip.
The last piece of hardware delivered would be the real Deep Space Transport vehicle that would later be used to take a team to Mars.
And a simulation of a year's life on Mars will take place in 2027.
Phase three and four will begin after 2030 and will include sustained manned expeditions to the Martian system and the surface of Mars.
Then, a crew of six people would be sent. They would arrive at the North Pole of Mars during the polar summer, to take advantage of the 288 days of continuous light.
"This approach would minimize the payload space shuttles would have to carry and make the mission as safe as possible for the crew," according to the study.
Beyond that, researchers believe that there is crucial evidence that must be done before humans are ready to use the proposed research base.
"We would have to carry out an initial mission to test everything for the first time," Ruede said.
"And the better you think about the initial mission, the quicker we can make things work and move on to colonization."