So, we’re building a city on Mars?
Words: Miles Buckeridge
For now, we’re not actually developing the Red Planet. However the UAE will be building a 1.9 million square-foot ‘city’ able to simulate the landscape and atmosphere of Mars, where a team will live for one year and discover how to become self-sufficient in water, food and energy in a harsh planetary environment.
Plans for the Mars Science City project were unveiled on Wednesday by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Created by a 3d printer and using sand from the UAE’s deserts, the AED 500 million project will be the largest space stimulation city ever built. Its domes will house laboratories, as well as land, for testing what extra-terrestrial agricultural practices might look like. There’ll also be a museum and educational areas for young Emiratis to visit.
So the next step is Mars?
Yes. Well, eventually. The UAE has already announced its own plans for the Mars 2117 Strategy that outlines an aim to start building the first settlement there within the next 100 years.
A team of Emirati scientists, engineers and designers, led by a team from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and Dubai Municipality, will carry out the project, which HH Sheikh Mohammed said would “establish international efforts to develop technologies that benefit humankind”.