It’s true — we’ve made it to the beginning stages of space travel. We’re so close, in fact, that NASA is hosting competitions to tap into the Earth’s greatest industrial and architectural talents. The space-faring organization’s most recent challenge, focusing on a sustainable Mars habitat, was host to a variety of outlandish, innovative, and intriguing designs — and now, a victor has emerged from the fray.
New York’s AI SpaceFactory recently claimed the top spot in NASA’s “Centennial Challenge,” conceptualizing, outsmarting, and inevitably defeating over 60 other firms during the course of the competition. The interplanetary architecture group secured its win with MARSHA, a 15-foot-tall prototype dwelling that was 3D-printed using an advanced robotic process. Utilizing a biodegradable basalt composite derived from Mars’ naturally-occurring sediment, SpaceFactory constructed MARSHA’s intriguing vertical silhouette to focus on the implementation of natural light, renewable, plant-based bioplastics, and an ecosystem that thrives under the Martian planet’s various conditions. A departure from the conventional layout of conceptual space-age dwellings, the multi-faceted structure features various amenities, including an illuminated staircase, cylindrical rooms, and modular furniture to provide intricate storage solutions for its alien inhabitants.