This team was started from an idea in July 2016 from a single person, and quickly gained momentum when 200 people signed up in the first year. With the support of our university, the University of British Columbia, as well as the faculty of applied science, we were able to successfully join the ranks of the other engineering student teams at UBC.
But there was a problem, there were no competitions related to the field that the team wanted to work in. The only competitions available were Mars rover challenges and NASA competitions where non-USA universities were the only ones allowed to participate. Devoted to the cause, this team ignored the status quo and designed and built an expandable airlock for use as an entrance to a colony on Mars – all by themselves. With the design in hand, a member was sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency to present the paper at the International Astronautical Congress 2018 in Bremen Germany, and 5 members ended up attending. This three year flagship project found traction on a national level, and in order to give back to the community, the team decided to create a competition following in the footsteps of our own project, and success. Consequently, Project Airlock Challenge was born, and 4 teams competed in the design process in May of 2019.
UBC Mars Colony is dedicated to expanding horizons, literally, and figuratively, as the team is consistantly doing outreach to support and nurture kids in STEM education, and bring interest to this relatively new field. As such, you can find us every year at EGBC outreach events, collaborating with Women in Engineering UBC, attending Cosmic Nights at the HR Macmillan Space Centre, and more.
Our goal for this team is to encourage students from UBC and worldwide to gain experience in the field of space exploration. There is a growing amount of interest in the exploration of space, yet very few companies are pushing towards making colonization possible. Students do not always have an opportunity to gain hands-on during their years in education, so we hope that this team will give students a chance to further their professional development.
As mentioned, we have finished our flagship airlock project and you can check it out here! Ongoing projects include:
There are a lot of different areas to explore regarding the colonization of Mars, some being more feasible than others. Hopefully, in the future, we can begin combining some of the projects listed below as the team grows and matures. We feel that, upon completion, these projects listed will reflect a more complete Martian colony-the ultimate end goal of the UBC Mars Colony team:
- Air Recycling Systems
- Water Reclamation Systems
- Communications Systems
- Oxygen production
- Proof of concept ISRU (In Situ Resource Utilization) systems for obtaining resources
- Agricultural tests on simulated soils
- Rovers for human transport or control
To encourage students and society to get involved in the space industry.
Provide students the opportunity to gain technical experience designing, prototyping, and testing advanced technology.
Allow students the opportunity to develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and leadership.
Incorporate many different disciplines within projects: Mechanical, Electrical and Computer, Civil, Chemical, Mining, Materials, and Geological Engineering may all be involved in future projects.
Advance the industry by discovering and improving on designs in cost, functionality, and safety.