Mars here we come!
A brand new team of UBC Engineering students is looking into developing suitable living conditions for research and habitation on Mars.
What is all the commotion about and what does the team actually do?
How about we start with why...
Humans have gazed up at the stars for centuries wondering what awaits us beyond the reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. Over time, this intrigue has motivated us to send humans into space, land on the moon, build a space station, and launch satellites to discover the outer reaches of our solar system. The exploration of space has drastically changed everyone’s lives on a more personal level, as well. With access to low earth orbit, we have satellites to locate anyone’s exact position in real-time; simultaneously, this data is streamed to their handheld device using invisible waves travelling through the air. This is merely one example displaying how reaching for the stars will improve the world. More examples showing how technology developed as a result of our space program can be checked out on NASA’s page here. Despite these amazing accomplishments, however, we have yet to colonize another planet.. this is where the UBC Mars Colony comes into play.
Why settle with what we already have? Let’s raise our game!
NASA is planning to send humans to Mars by the 2030’s with their Journey to Mars. They aren’t the only players in this challenge, though! SpaceX plans to send humans to Mars by 2025 according to CEO and tech legend Elon Musk in this interview.
With the stage set to put humans to the red planet within the next decade, we believe it is due time for the world to start solving some of the difficulties of colonization. The martian environment presents countless challenges such as:
- A lack of pressure
- No breathable atmosphere
- Extremely cold temperatures
- Hazardous perchlorates in the soil
These challenges put habitation, cultivation, and experimentation at a distance from what people believe is achievable.
The UBC Mars Colony team is changing these perceptions by showing the world it is possible. Furthermore, this team provides opportunities for students to develop technical and communication skills working as a multidisciplinary team – the key to a successful career in many industries.
- To design aspects of civilian and/or research habitats for use on Mars.
- To manufacture promising designs into operational and testable solutions.
- To test manufactured components and evaluate the performance of the habitat in a simulated Martian environment.
- To train, through participation in the design, manufacture and testing process, engineering students and even those of other disciplines in hard skills like CAD design, machining, and experimental set-up.
- To develop, through participation in group activities, soft skills such as designing intuition, communication, and leadership.
- Advance the space industry by inventing new and innovating established designs for components of a colony on Mars.
- To encourage students and society to get involved in the space industry