SPACE HABITATS LIVING LABS
Creating Space Habitats on Earth
Space is no longer the Final Frontier... it is the next obvious step as we face the issues of resource depletion and overpopulation on planet Earth.
We are working to create communities on Earth that closely approximate the environments that will be confronted by those who embark on this next step... the colonisation of space.
This will offer a great opportunity to develop “living lab” experiences where research and innovation can demonstrate potential lifestyles in space, and develop technologies to benefit urban lifestyles here on Earth. By specifically developing these space habitats on Earth, people can live life as they would off planet, letting them know, by doing, what the future holds.
Students, entrepreneurs and members of the general public could enjoy the experience, contribute feedback or actively immerse themselves into scenarios and dilemmas that require problem-solving and decision making skills.
THE LIVING LABS PROJECT
Unlocking the Mysteries of Science
We are interested in studying the natural systems which shape and guide the processes of the natural world. Our long-term goal is to identify and characterize the scientific mechanisms specific to our principal areas of research. You can read on to find out more about these projects below.
MARS - CHALLENGES
The climate of Mars is reflected in water, dust and ice weather events. At times, giant dust storms can blanket the entire planet and last for months, turning the sky hazy and red.
On November 22, 2016, NASA reported finding a large amount of underground ice on Mars; the volume of water detected is equivalent to the volume of water in Lake Superior, U.S.A. In July 2018, Italian scientists reported the discovery of a subglacial lake on Mars, 1.5 km (0.93 mi) below the southern polar ice cap, and extending sideways about 20 km (12 mi), the first known stable body of water on the planet. Understanding the extent and situation of water on Mars is vital to assess the planet’s potential for harbouring life and for providing usable resources for future human exploration.
What is Mars' atmosphere made of?
The atmosphere of Mars is about 100 times thinner than Earth's, and it is 95 percent carbon dioxide. Here's a breakdown of its composition, according to a NASA fact sheet: Carbon dioxide: 95.32 percent Nitrogen: 2.7 percent Argon: 1.6 percent Oxygen: 0.13 percent Carbon monoxide: 0.08 percent Also, minor amounts of: water, nitrogen oxide, neon, hydrogen-deuterium-oxygen, krypton and xenon Climate and weather Mars' thin atmosphere and its greater distance from the sun mean that Mars is much colder than Earth. The average temperature is about minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit), although it can vary from minus 125 C (minus 195 F) near the poles during the winter to as much as a comfortable 20 C (70 F) at midday near the equator.
The atmosphere of Mars is also roughly 100 times thinner than Earth's, but it is still thick enough to support weather, clouds and winds. There is also radiation at its surface, but it shouldn't be enough to stop Mars exploration; analysis by the Curiosity rover found that a single mission to Mars is comparable to the radiation guidelines for astronauts for the European Space Agency, although it does exceed those of NASA.
Giant dust devils routinely kick up the oxidized iron dust that covers Mars' surface. Dust is also a permanent part of the atmosphere, with higher amounts of it in the northern fall and winter, and lower amounts in the northern spring and summer. The dust storms of Mars are the largest in the solar system, capable of blanketing the entire planet and lasting for months. These usually take place in the spring or summer.
At times, it even snows on Mars. The Martian snowflakes, made of carbon dioxide rather than water, are thought to be very small particles that create a fog effect rather than appearing as falling snow. The north and south polar regions of Mars are capped by ice, much of it made from carbon dioxide, not water.
Today, NASA says seasonal changes are due to the waxing and waning of the carbon dioxide ice caps, dust moving around in the atmosphere, and water vapour moving between the surface and the atmosphere. (Most of the water comes from the north water ice cap, which is exposed and sublimates during the Martian summer when carbon dioxide evaporates off the cap.)
LIFE BELOW GROUND
Due to the challenges of life above ground, moving habitation underground would allow the environment to be controlled and, with enough forethought and study on earth, we can determine and create the optimal living environment for those who take on this challenge.
LIVING LABS - AUSTRALIA
Australia has the amazing gift of the terrain of the Great Artesian Basin formed out of the Eromanga Sea which has been identified as closely approximating that of Mars.
Its harsh environment has resulted in some communities choosing to live underground, just as we would on the Moon, Mars and asteroids, as we protect ourselves from cosmic radiation in space.
There are several existing inland communities that live underground, namely, Coober Pedy and Andamooka in South Australia, and White Cliffs and Lightning Ridge New South Wales. These communities will be invited to expand their communities, incorporating new tourism, education, medical and residential facilities.
The aim is to create specialized world-class underground facilities in central Australia, constructed in stages to learn by, and improve on, as they are built.
We can invite entrants of the NASA Mars habitat competition, as well as any other interested party, to build their underground habitats here, subject to Defence Department approval.
The designers can expect their constructions to be used as education and tourist features in an expanded community.