Design of an Autonomously Deployable Mars Habitat



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50th International Conference on Environmental Systems


This paper presents a proposal for the design of an autonomously deployable habitat for a long-duration manned mission on Mars. Key drivers in the design were the payload and volume constraints of Starship, the heavy launch vehicle developed by SpaceX and addressing habitability challenges implied by Martian conditions. The habitat is conceived to be transported in compacted form and to expand to a habitable volume by autonomously deploying after being placed on the Martian surface. For this, the integration of several different kinetic structures is proposed: a protective casing, a vertically sliding core, radially expanding girders and an inflatable membrane. A digital parametric model was made with the Rhinoceros3D Grasshopper Plugin and used to compose and analyze the kinematic behavior of the structures. The form-finding and deployment process of the membrane was developed using the Kangaroo physics engine. The deployment choreography of the habitat is presented as the outcome of the kinematic investigation and the resulting architectural quality of the final deployed habitat is described.


Rudolf Walther Erdem Neumerkel, TU Wien
Miruna Vecerdi, TU Wien
Sandra H�uplik-Meusburger, TU Wien
ICES502: Space Architecture
The 50th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held virtually on 12 July 2021 through 14 July 2021.


autonomous deployment, kinematic structure, lightweight construction, computational design, digital simulation, habitat design