People are finally giving serious thought to the possibility of living someplace off the Earth. Thought we’d take a look at what those new house designs might look like. Seeing what might be available, once we get to go. We’ll start with Mars, since everybody’s so excited about the possibility of getting there in the next decade or so.
The first shelters will be shipped to Mars from Earth. Maybe they’ll be shipped ahead of time and need to be activated when humans arrive, but probably, the shelter will arrive with them. After all, it worked on the moon, though the shelter in that case was a piece of space ship. It served the purpose for the short time that anybody was there. They even brought part of it back with them. Kind of like living in your car, do you suppose?
So here’s some of the ideas that are floating around for housing on Mars:
1. One suggestion for an early shelter is an inflated balloon-type structure. Think of some kind of thick, air-tight fabric that could be unfolded and laid out in the desired position, hooked up to a supply of air, and blown up. The fabric could be augmented with support structures, and finally, the entire thing could be covered with sand for extra insulation, both from thermal variance and radiation. The average Martian temperature is -80° F, plus the air is mighty thin, so you have to have plenty of insulation. You’d probably have to tie this puppy down before you started inflating it, or risk it floating away in the breeze, but I’m sure the instructions would point that out.
After reading about this proposal, I’m left wondering how the door would be added. It would have to be an air lock, or else opening the door really would mean you’d let all the heat out! I keep thinking an airlock would be made of metal, but perhaps they could fashion them out of plastic or something similar, and they could be added to the ‘balloon’ before it left Earth. Would they only put one door in this balloon, or would they add a back door, too? And who is going to shovel all that sand on top and around? Would they dig a hole in the ground to hold the balloon? Sounds like a lot of hard work, if the ground is frozen or otherwise solid. What’s the circumference of this balloon? Will they have to walk (or drive) all over it to get the sand distributed?
I suppose it has possibilities, but it really sounds an awful lot like a fixer-upper.
Well, phooey. We’ve only looked at one possibility, and I’m out of words. Can’t make these things too long, or so they tell me. We’ll have to continue this search for a new home next week, because there are definitely other possibilities. But don’t get your hopes up; I didn’t see a single split-level ranch on the list.