July 16th, 2013

The Challenges of Climate Control in a Mars Habitat Discover Magazine

It’s late March at Gale Crater, the landing site of the Mars Curiosity rover. And according to the Mars Weather site, temperatures haven’t made it above freezing for weeks.
It’s a cold spring for Curiosity after a surprisingly warm winter. But the engineers knew what they were getting into when they designed the rover. They knew its systems would need to endure temperatures colder than -150 degrees Fahrenheit, and that they would need to operate reliably without much time above a balmy 32 degrees.
The same basic principle applies to any future human habitats on Mars. But in addition to sporting systems that can withstand harsh, fluctuating temperatures, a habitat must also survive a journey to and a landing on the planet, keep its inhabitants protected from harmful radiation and a toxic atmosphere (or lack thereof), and maintain comfortable indoor temperatures.
Speaking from experience in a simulated habitat I can tell you: Shirtsleeve temperatures are preferred.

February 1st, 1999

For the Love of Mars Discover Magazine

The members of the Mars Society are united in their frontier vision of the Red Planet, but fiercely at odds on the nature of the Martian society they’ll construct.

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