Sustaining human life on the Red Planet
Lee, Mei Tak
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Architecture has been extensively explored in one known environment, the Earth. Indeed, the Earth's environment provides a guide to architectural design. However, human habitation on Earth may gradually deplete resources needed for human survival. If Earth were no longer able to sustain human life, Mars would likely be the first viable alternative. However, conditions on Mars are different from those on Earth. Atmosphere, water, gravity and other elements unique to Mars will need to be considered to sustain human life on that planet. Within these limitations, what would architecture be like on Mars? Context is always an important consideration in an Architectural design. The conditions found on Mars pose a serious challenge for long-term sustainability of human life on that planet. Consequently, this thesis explores the development of an initial colony and its growth in the unique context of Mars. This thesis began with a literature review on the planet Mars---in particular its climatic, atmospheric and topographic conditions, and resources. The thesis also examined literature on human behavior in space as well as ways of sustaining human existence in that unique environment (e.g., needs for energy, food, environmental controls and life support). This thesis explored the possibilities for colonization of the red planet and, specifically, examined the implications of the conditions found on Mars for designing a sustainable, autonomous colony on that planet. The result of this thesis is a bound document containing the study and analysis of the research as well as a design project that explored the unique conditions of the environment and its implications for the initial colonization on Mars.