Submission: September 15, 2020
Registration: August 30, 2020
Location: Mars (Jezero Crater)
Prizes: Please see details below
The MARS CITY URBAN FARMING For EXTREME ENVIRONMENT
Mars City Design Challenges 2020. In this time of crisis, envisioning how to live abundantly on another planet seems to be a far-off predicament. However, this critical time can also offer a new perspective, a change that in the long term, is necessary for the sake of our existence and evolution as human beings. This initiative can also lead to technological discoveries and innovations. Pursuing a vision of tomorrow may save today before it is too late!
Our time in quarantine might have shown us that our home planet can use this break to recover from the high levels of carbon emissions and rampant consumerism. This forces us to examine how our supplies are produced and distributed. Local goods and services make more sense in our present situation.
Therefore, Mars City Design® is urging us to live and consume more consciously by pursuing more sustainable living habits. Based in Silicon Beach, created by Vera Mulyani, this privately funded Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) Research and Development platform is focusing on designing the blueprints of what a sustainable Mars destination could look like.
On Mars, the boundary between indoors and outdoors can signify life and death. The creation of spacesuits or Mars-suits is, in this context, crucial to face the outdoor challenges while protecting the human body. The habitats that are designed for this extreme environment become the “suit” for indoor activities; a living vessel that can sustain the long-term needs of the inhabitants. Designing a closed loop system for a habitat on Mars can begin with how the food supply system works in full circle. As Adele Peters of Fast Company said “Shipping food to Mars could cost nearly $1 billion per person per year–so if people want to live there, growing food on the planet is a necessary step.”
This is one of the many reasons Mars City Design® wanted to take this necessary step by creating the URBAN FARMING for EXTREME ENVIRONMENT competition .
This contest is open to the public, teams and individuals can submit their designs of a food supply system that can produce a variety of menus for a crew of 9 people living for 2 years on Mars. The winning designs are Awarded by the Mars City Design Award, furthermore they are subject to be developed and built in the California desert!
There are many factors that participants might consider when designing their submissions. Some of these are the respect to the extreme environment contexts, the surrounding locations, prior arts, sustainability, augmentation, time scale, whether it is indoor or outdoor and the relevant technology. It is also an important element to see the Earth application of the design.
This is an opportunity for anyone to have a shot at their innovative ideas being showcased and utilized. Considering the voyage toward becoming an interplanetary species should be a joint global effort from people of multidisciplinary backgrounds, it only makes sense to globally allow everyone the opportunity to exchange their knowledge and ideas.
Many farming advancements has been relying on the space technology and NASA has been developing softwares to improve the GPS signal in self driving tractors, crop forecasting, LED systems and much more.
1 These are some references or the prior art that could be used to inspire the next ideas submitted to the Mars City Design Challenges 2020.
NASA has also performed scientific researches in collaboration with the International Space Station National Laboratory (ISS NL), to experiment how plants could survive the conditions of lower gravity, furthermore, the ones on Mars through genetic modification experiments.
2 Martian temperatures are far colder than that of Earth and Mars lacks an ozone layer which exposes all life to more ultraviolet rays from the Sun. These genetically manipulated plants will perform better in the harsh Martian environment. NASA has also undergone research in agriculture using martian soil simulant.
3 From this, we can see there are many components that go into producing an effective food system on Mars. The design proposals are encouraged to incorporate aspects that account for these alternative conditions.
Mars City Design offers this unique initiative for teams to showcase their designs that will not only be paramount for living on Mars, but for living in the extreme conditions of the ever changing climate of Earth.
If you are interested in contributing to this initiative by sponsoring the contest, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.