MIT’s winning solar-powered dome tree habitats for Mars mimic earthly forests

November 28, 2017 by  
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If humans start constructing cities on Mars , we have an opportunity to build sustainably from the start. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) team designed an environmentally friendly city for the red planet that mimics a forest , with solar-powered dome tree habitats connected with roots, or tunnels. Their vision, called Redwood Forest, recently won first place in the Mars City Design competition’s architecture category. As many as 50 people can reside in each one of Redwood Forest’s domes, which offer open space with plants and water – harvested from Mars’ northern plains – atop roots with access to private spaces and other domes. The roots also protect colonizers from cosmic radiation, extreme thermal changes, or micrometeorite impacts. Related: Stefano Boeri Architects envisions a Vertical Forest City on Mars The 10,000-person city will “physically and functionally mimic a forest,” according to MIT postdoctoral researcher and team co-lead Valentina Sumini, and will draw on local resources like ice, regolith, and water . MIT doctoral student George Lordos said, “Every tree habitat in Redwood Forest will collect energy from the sun and use it to process and transport the water throughout the tree, and every tree is designed as a water-rich environment. Water fills the soft cells inside the dome providing protection from radiation, helps manage heat loads, and supplies hydroponic farms for growing fish and greens.” Solar panels will generate energy to split stored water to produce oxygen and rocket fuel, Lordos said. Solar power will also help charge hydrogen fuel cells , “necessary to power long-range vehicles as well as provide backup energy storage in case of dust storms.” These ideas wouldn’t only work on the red planet. The MIT team says many of their design features could be applied to Earth. Underground multi-level networks could ease traffic above by offering an alternative route for electric cars. Hydroponic gardens underneath cities could cultivate fresh produce with lower transportation and land costs. And their tree habitat design, MIT said, “could create living and working spaces in harsh environments, such as high latitudes, deserts, and the sea floor.” + Mars City Design Via MIT News Images via Valentina Sumini/MIT

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MIT’s winning solar-powered dome tree habitats for Mars mimic earthly forests

‘Galapagos of North America’ – Mexico creates massive marine reserve

November 28, 2017 by  
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In a huge win for the environment, Mexico’s government just announced the creation of a massive marine reserve in an area known as the ‘Galapagos of North America.’ Aimed at protecting and preserving the precious environment around the Revillagigedo Archipelago near Baja California, the Illinois-sized reserve will be the largest of its kind for the continent. The 57,143-square-mile reserve will go a long way towards protecting the humpbacks, migratory birds, rays, turtles, endangered fish and coral reefs that call the area home. With the designation, all hotel construction, fishing, and mining are banned. The reserve sits 242 miles south-west of the Baja California peninsula and contains four volcanic islands and a submerged volcanic mountain range. Related: We created enough marine reserves last year to cover Texas and Alaska combined President Enrique Pena Nieto made the announcement on Friday, pushing back against significant opposition from the commercial fishing industry, saying that Mexico is reaffirming its “commitment to the preservation of the heritage of Mexico and the world”. The area will be policed by the Mexican Navy, a move that helps to silence critics that say marine reserves aren’t adequately patrolled. It’s worth noting that while Mexico is making a commitment to protecting priceless places, Trump is considering shrinking the Rose Atoll and the Pacific Remote Islands, two national monuments that could be opened to fishing. Con el Decreto del Parque Nacional Revillagigedo, el @gobmx reafirma su compromiso con la conservación del patrimonio de @Mexico y el mundo. pic.twitter.com/RNfTruK6XM — Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) November 25, 2017 Via The Guardian Lead image via Deposit Photos , image via Wikimedia

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‘Galapagos of North America’ – Mexico creates massive marine reserve

The UAE joins race to build first city on Mars

February 16, 2017 by  
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The race to colonize Mars first is in full swing, with everyone from Mars One to Elon Musk angling for the prize. Now the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced their intention to build Mars’ first city within 100 years. Their plan, called Mars 2117, aims to inspire, and act as a seed for future generations to grow. Mars 2117 was launched on February 14 , on the sideline of World Government Summit in Dubai, where a Mars 2117 virtual reality experience was offered. UAE Prime Minister and vice president Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum announced the plan : “We aspire to great things, so my brother Mohammed bin Zayed and I today decided the UAE will join the global effort to send humans to Mars. Mars 2117 is a seed we are sowing today to reap the fruit of new generations led by a passion for science and advancing human knowledge.” Related: Elon Musk reveals his big plan for colonizing Mars Mars 2117 isn’t just a dream for the UAE. In a statement Al Maktoum said, “The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality.” The UAE government plans to create an international scientific consortium to pursue research for the project. Thus far only the United States has been able to land a craft on Mars – Europe and Russia have both failed. And the UAE just started their space agency in 2014, but they already plan to send a spacecraft, Hope, to orbit the red planet in 2021. Popular Science notes although the country lacks rockets, they have plenty of money and have shown they can move swiftly to achieve large goals, such as transforming Dubai from the pearl-fishing village it was around 40 years ago to the architectural wonder it is today, boasting the world’s tallest structure in the Burj Khalifa . Via International Business Times , Popular Science , and Government of Dubai Media Office Images via Dubai Media Office on Twitter

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Plants grown in Mars-like soil are officially declared edible

June 27, 2016 by  
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Back in March, scientists from the Netherlands’ Wageningen University successfully grew ten different crops in Mars-like soil provided by NASA . But there was a catch: they couldn’t eat the food. They worried it contained heavy metals like cadmium and lead, which were present in the Mars soil stimulant. Well, good news: further research determined at least four of the crops do not contain dangerous heavy metal levels and are therefore edible, getting us one step closer to life on the Red Planet. The Wageningen team, led by ecologist Wieger Wamelink, tested radishes, tomatoes, rye, and peas. They tested the crops for cadmium, lead, aluminium, nickel, copper, chrome, iron, arsenic, manganese, and zinc. None of those compounds appeared in dangerous levels, and Wamelink said the results are “very promising.” Some of the heavy metal concentrations detected in the food were even less than those found in plants cultivated in regular potting soil . The plants were also tested for vitamins, alkaloids, and flavonoids. Related: Scientists are growing ten different kinds of crops in Mars-like soil While we don’t yet know whether NASA or Mars One will reach the red planet first, both entities support the research. NASA provided the soil stiumlant, mainly from a Hawaii volcano. Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp said in a press release, “Growing food locally is especially important to our mission of permanent settlement, as we have to ensure sustainable food production on Mars. The results of Dr. Wamelink and his team at Wageningen University & Research are significant progress towards that goal.” A crowdfunding campaign is still going, and that money will allow Wamelink’s team to test the other six crops, including potatoes. You can donate here until the end of August. If all the vegetables grown contain heavy metal amounts lower than those stipulated by the FDA and the Dutch Food Agency, Wamelink’s team will host a “Martian dinner” at the Wageningen greenhouse. + Can we safely eat plants grown on Mars? Images via Bryan Versteeg/Mars One and Food for mars and moon Facebook

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Plants grown in Mars-like soil are officially declared edible

Scientists are growing ten different kinds of crops in Mars-like soil

March 23, 2016 by  
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Worried that your Martian diet may be just freeze-dried fruits and dried veggies? Worry no longer: future Mars settlers could feast on quinoa, tomatoes, and peas. A team at Wageningen University in the Netherlands has successfully grown food in Mars soil stimulant from NASA , bringing us one step closer to a realistic Mars colony . Read the rest of Scientists are growing ten different kinds of crops in Mars-like soil

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Elon Musk’s Big Call of the Week – Colonizing Space Will Protect Us From Extinction

October 6, 2014 by  
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What drives Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to push so hard for crewed missions to Mars ? Why, of all the projects and possibilities open to Musk, is that one so important to him? In a recent interview with Aeon’s Ross Anderson , the tech billionaire revealed that he sits firmly in the philosophical camp that believes colonizing space is humanity’s only long-term hope for survival. He also thinks humans could be living on Mars within 100 years. Read the rest of Elon Musk’s Big Call of the Week – Colonizing Space Will Protect Us From Extinction Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: elon musk , extinction , habitat destruction , manned mission to mars , mars , mars colony , nasa , reusable rockets , space travel , spacex , Tesla Motors

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Infographic: How Mars One Plans to Establish the First Colony on the Red Planet

October 28, 2013 by  
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Did you know that if you are at least 18 years old, in good mental and physical condition, and have no plans to return to Earth , you can apply to be one of the first colonizers of Mars? Mars One is a Dutch nonprofit run by Bas Lansdorp that plans to establish the first permanent settlement on Mars by 2023. Graphs.net recently launched a new infographic that shows the timeline and application process for this out-of-this-world expedition – check out the full infographic after the break! The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Read the rest of Infographic: How Mars One Plans to Establish the First Colony on the Red Planet Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bas Lansdorp , green design , infographic , mars 2023 , mars colony , mars infographic , mars one , mission mars one , mission to mars , space , sustainable design        

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Infographic: How Mars One Plans to Establish the First Colony on the Red Planet

Over 200,000 People Apply to Become First Colonizers of Mars

September 10, 2013 by  
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The numbers are in, and in just six months a seemingly phenomenal 202,586 people have applied to join the very first Mars colony . Frequently dubbed a “suicide mission,” the $4 billion Mars One non-profit venture plans to send a team of four individuals on what may very well be a one way trip to the red planet. The U.S. formed the most enthusiastic applicant pool (24%), while other applicants came from another 139 countries. Read the rest of Over 200,000 People Apply to Become First Colonizers of Mars Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bas Lansdorp , elon musk , live on mars , mars applicants , mars colony , mars exploration , mars one , martian life , space travel , spacex        

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Over 200,000 People Apply to Become First Colonizers of Mars

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