Architects have imagined what a Martian city could look like. Named Nüwa, it would be built on the side of a cliff. And would eventually accommodate 250,000 people according to their projections.
The Perseverance robot took its first steps on the Red Planet last month. Among its missions, the search for ancient traces of life, the collection of samples to send back to Earth.
But also, by studying the place, the preparation of a possible arrival of men and women on Mars. Some organizations are already preparing for this possibility.
The international architecture agency Abiboo has proposed plans for one of the five future self-sufficient cities that will welcome humans on Mars. Named Nüwa, it could be built from 2054, and completed by 2100. When the first community of humans would begin to live there, explains Alfredo Muñoz, founder of Abiboo to Euronews.
“Let’s hope it happens this decade.”
This project is carried out in collaboration with SONet network, a group of scientists promoting human settlement on other worlds, “especially on the Moon and Mars,” explains their page.
It was presented in a competition organized by the Mars Society – an organization dedicated to human exploration and colonization of that planet – at its last convention in October 2020, in which Elon Musk, the boss of the space flight company Space X, participated.
The latter, who supports the Martian ambitions, sees much less far: “Let’s hope it happens this decade,” he wrote on Twitter, about the Abiboo project.
The billionaire has long said his desire to go to the red planet, in 2017. He had even unveiled a project ensuring that he could send humans to Mars as early as 2023.
A city planned for 250,000 people
In its description, the architecture firm presents Nüwa as a vertical city dug into a Martian cliff, because humans cannot survive outdoors without protection on this planet.
Located in an area called “Tempe Mensa”. It is “protected from radiation and meteorites while having access to indirect sunlight” and could. according to its designers, accommodate 250,000 people.
Areas of habitation, agriculture but also some kind of parks are planned, equipped with portholes with a view on the Martian surface.
The project even foresees transportation between the different city-colonies established on the planet, in the form of buses or trains. But this pharaonic program, in many aspects, remains a fantasy for the moment.
A project at the stage of utopia
Several researchers in astrophysics had explained in February to BFMTV that if the research advanced in the discovery of Mars, the implementation of a human exploration could still take decades. Thus, to imagine a colony settling there remains a utopia with the current knowledge.
Indeed, we do not know how the human body would react to the journey, nor on this planet. How to produce with certainty energy and oxygen, nor to grow food.
And if “we talk a lot about the discovery of water on Mars, we must be very clear, even if there is liquid water. Today, it is surely under the surface, and in small quantities. So it will not be enough for a colony of people,”
explained Athena Coustenis, director of research at CNRS and Paris Observatory.
Moreover, “at present, to send men and women to Mars and bring them back safely. There is a lot of work to be done, at least for 15 to 20 years, if not more. And I’m only talking about exploration,” said Michel Viso, head of exobiology at CNES, who participated in the Perseverance mission.
A true Earth fantasy, the colonization of Mars is the subject of all kinds of projects. And the Abiboo models are not the first to imagine what human life on the red planet could be like.
NASA had thus launched a contest in 2018, calling for proposals for housing projects on Mars. And astronomers from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich (England) had even presented in 2016 the human-sized model of a possible Martian house.