The universe has always fascinated me and there are many who believe that if things continue to go the way it is on Earth, they will eventually call it home! The Moon and Mars are some of the alternative life options being considered, and as we ship spaceships to see how habitable these options really are, designers have been busy daydreaming of spaceships, habitats, and even hotels that could function as sustainable life settings. We have curated for you some of the most creative, innovative and most likely space architectural designs! Elon Musk would definitely approve of them.
A California-based startup, Orbital Assembly Corporation, designed a hotel that uses artificial gravity to keep people in the world’s first hotel! Speaking of luxury and earthly comfort, the hotel boasts a capacity of 400 people, along with facilities such as a cinema, spa, gyms, theme restaurants, libraries and even concert venues. Personally, I expect that the multitude of space games and cinemas filled with space-themed movies will make this experience more ironic and even surreal. The hotel has 24 modules allocated for housing, each module 12 meters in diameter and 20 meters long. The total living area is 500 square meters and spreads over three floors, of which 12 modules will be dedicated to hotel rooms and suites. There will be three types of rooms – 126 square meters of luxury suite, 62 square meters of luxury rooms and 30 square meters in a standard room.
The Paris-based Interstellar Laboratory planned to build a biome network in the Mojave Desert of California to create and study the future of the human settlement on Mars. Called EBIOS (Experimental Bio-Regenerative Station), the design is a circular village (closed to itself) with ‘regenerative life support technologies’. “Emotional life is probably very rare in our universe – complex life can be rare in our solar system,” said founder and CEO Barbara Belvisi. “At Interstellar Laboratory, we are building technologies that help preserve and regenerate it on earth now and in the future on other planets. What we need to bring to Mars for life is what we currently need to protect on Earth. The only way to become a multi-planet species is to join our energy in the same direction. “Following this philosophy, Interstellar is working closely with NASA to create an ideal habitat to help people begin the next part of our journey across the Milky Way. Finally, once we settle on Mars, that will prevent us from finding new planets!
The Mars Incubator team created this modular habitat for NASA’s 3D-printed habitat challenge. Each module serves the purpose of a separate room and is connected by a promenade. Smaller modules are made to be dodecahedral (consisting of pentagons), while large, primary modules consist of hexagonal and pentagonal parts.
While missions to Mars are attracting all the media and science fiction attention, a trusted celestial friend is returning as an option to house human colonies off Earth – it’s our moon! BJarke Ingle ICON, a large and 3D printed construction company, is working on the Olympus project – a mission to develop a robotic structure for the Moon. Bjarke Ingles is Elon Musk from the architectural world, he loves to explore the impossible and has a penchant for design that can help save humanity from its environmentally friendly buildings in the Olympus project. The Olympus project is working to find a way to create a 3D printed infrastructure for life on the Moon using materials found on its surface. Why do we need a habitat on the moon? So we can launch permanent lunar exploration missions in which astronauts will be able to comfortably stay and conduct their research over an extended period of time. The project also included SEArch + (Space Research Architecture) after receiving a government contract for small business research (SBIR) reinforced with NASA funding.
The Zopherus team designed the unique Zopherus habitat. Instead of carrying material to Mars, Zopherus relies (in part) on materials found on Mars. Basically a massive interplanetary 3D printer, Zopherus sets up rovers that collect material and return it to a printer, which binds it along with cement and prints out the habitat. The habitat uses two nozzles that press into HDPE and Martian concrete. HDPE forms the basic structure, as well as the outer cover for the concrete structure of Martian, strengthening it as well as protecting it from the extreme temperatures of the red planet.
Texas startup Orion Span plans to use the space in a whole new way, creating a luxury space hotel designed to open in 2022 (I’m sure COVID wasn’t included in their plans!) Named Aurora Station, the £ 70 million hotel space is designed to rotate about 200 miles above the ground. The hotel plans to accommodate four guests and two crew members on a total 12-day trip, and is priced at around £ 6.7 million per person. “After launch, the Aurora station immediately starts operating, bringing passengers into space faster and at a lower cost than ever before, while providing an unforgettable experience,” said Frank Bunger, founder of Orion Span. The entire design will be handled by a team led by Frank Eichstadt, who is credited with being the Chief Architect on the Enterprise module of the International Space Station. “Orion Span has further taken what was in the past a 24-month training regime to prepare passengers for a visit to the space station and direct it to three months, at a fraction of the cost,” Bunger said.
Architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has created the concept of a permanent community on the moon! The proposal consists of inflating pods that expand to create a place for more and more citizens as the population increases. They plan for the Moon Village to be “the first permanent human settlement on the moon’s surface.” The Moon Village is designed not only to sustain human life but also to meet and solve all the uninhabitable problems that the Moon can impose. This inflatable lunar settlement has certainly piqued our interest!
Instarz has created a compact self-sustaining lunar habitat that will allow astronauts to live and work on the Moon for at least a year! It is designed to allow people to deeply explore the moon and the universe. Eight astronauts can stay on the Rest for twelve months, allowing them to conduct tests and experiments without worrying too much about their pace or speed. The habitat can easily fit into a five-meter commercial launch vehicle with a volume of 1000 cubic meters under pressure.
When NASA announced a competition to design the best Martian housing design, AI SpaceFactory came in second with its egg-shaped vertical structure that has a double-shell system to meet the internal atmospheric pressure and structural stress that the design could withstand. Designed for construction on Mars, the design takes into account the use of elements that are already present on the planet, reducing the dependence of building materials transmitted from Earth. The team has developed an innovative blend of basalt fibers, extracted from Martian rocks and renewable bioplastics (polychloric acid) derived from plants to be grown on Mars. The design envisages individual structures instead of a common habitat, but given the area it covers, it would comfortably accommodate more than one Martian at a time!
Named the Mars X House, its design is optimized for the needs of Mars under pressure, and comes made with an inner layer of HDPE, followed by an outer cover of concrete and basalt fiber, which is finally reinforced on the outside with vertically spiral ridges. The house is divided into three zones, with its own dedicated emergency exits (external spiral staircase), and right at the top is a water tank that puts pressure on the building down, which in combination with the shape of the building prevents an explosion due to pressure imbalance from inside to outside .