>Official Press Release from the Mars Homestead Project
Released September 10th, 2004
New Project To Design, Build A Home On Mars
Cambridge, Massachusetts- Over the past summer, a new non-profit organization was formed and began a systematic effort to design and build the first permanent habitat on the planet Mars.
The Mars Homestead Project, located online at MarsHome.org, is composed of a group of scientists, engineers, and Mars enthusiasts who share a common vision of the eventual human settlement of the red planet. Leading the effort are two talented individuals: Mark Homnick is a retired project manager and facility developer with over twenty years of experience at Intel and AT&T. Bruce Mackenzie is a tireless space activist whose concepts for brick masonry structures built from local materials were featured in Robert Zubrin's The Case for Mars and Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars. He brings to the Project his background as Executive Director for the Mars Society and a member of the leadership team for the National Space Society.
Joining Homnick and Mackenzie are a growing corps of scientists and professionals in the fields of Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Materials Engineering, Architecture, Agriculture and Nutrition, Systems Integration, Project Management, Public Outreach, Data & Telecommunications, Mars Geology, Space Transportation and other fields in science, engineering, and management. An expanding board of advisors to the Project includes NASA/Ames scientist Chris McKay. Non-professionals are welcomed to join a "brainstorming" email discussion list and to volunteer to help with organizational tasks for the Project and its efforts. Already over a thousand Mars enthusiasts have expressed their interest in the goals of the Project by signing up at events and on the Project's website.
The first "Project Kickoff" meeting was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in early August, and focused the team on a multi-phased approach. While the Project has no formal relationship with the university, two MIT faculty serve as advisors and several MIT students are contributing to the Project.
Phase 1, now underway, will endeavor to create an initial design concept and draft manufacturing plan, which are expected in early November. The Project's initial concept study for the first permanent base on Mars is due to be completed by the first half of 2005. After this initial concept study is complete, the team will begin more detailed planning and begin work towards a full-scale prototype research base located on Earth.
The Project will also undertake small-scale "Prototyping" projects, which could provide opportunities for space advocacy organizations and their local chapters to assist the Project in researching and building the components for a permanent Mars base. In the near future, the Project expects to undertake formal joint efforts with these groups, and one goal of the Project is to help expand the membership of all space advocacy groups.
Ultimately, the Project's plan is to assist the human exploration and settlement of Mars with the goal of establishing a permanent, thriving colony on another world. The Project will strive to excite the public and will work with world space agencies to make our plans become a reality. The Mars Homestead Project: To Arrive, Survive, and Thrive!
About the Mars Homestead Project
Utilizing concepts and designs from the past several decades, the Mars Homestead Project seeks to develop a unified plan for building the first habitat on Mars utilizing local materials. The ultimate goal of the project is to build a growing, permanent settlement beyond the Earth, thus allowing civilization to spread beyond the limits of our small planet. The Project's website is located at www.MarsHome.org.