Mars ISRU Architecture

Country: US, New York
Genre: CSI Competition Entry
Year: 2021-2022
Publisher: ︎︎︎CSI
In the future, interplanetary travel between the Earth and Mars will become more and more
common, and the fuel demands of such missions will soon surpass what Earth can provide For this reason, the concept of in-situ resource utilization is incredibly important and a major focus of Martian research today. Specifically, the ability to harvest and use subsurface water ice to synthesize propellant on the Martian surface, without any human interaction, will revolutionize the future of space industry. Highlighting sustainable solutions, renewable systems, and available on-site resources gives humanity a chance to avoid anthropocentric problems that inevitably arise in the future. Part of space exploration requires an acknowledgement of intervention humanity is able to cause within the limitless boundaries of extraterrestrial space. The notion of limitlessnes is conceptual, as any human intervention has a consequence, especially the long-term pric humanity must pay. Project MEPSA, by Columbia Space Initiative is an innovative and sustainable approach to utilizing ISRU Resources, paving the way for humanity to settle o Mars, and further explore our solar system.

Our fully autonomous and self sustainable proposal consists of elements that are coher-
ently working together to maximize productivity and volume efficiency. The overall morphology of our structures is serving as a pressure vessel. The larger volume serves as a storage facility for oxidizer, protected by 2” the layer of silicone on the inside, while its core hosts a smaller volume for methane storage and a scroll compressor system. At the top of the structure, an exhaust as well as navigational mechanical systems allow full on-site supervision over the movement and condition of our structure. 

The material for exterior is aluminum and a carefully designed mesh-like looking exterior facade allows the fully volumetric intak of CO2 from Martian Atmosphere, directly into the scroll compressor system. The bottom
of the structure holds silica aerogel sheets used for vacuum H2O extraction, and mechanica systems for a fully autonomous movement of our proposal. Moreover, the location of energ units of the exterior, with wiring relatively close to the bottom surface of our project, allows us to project the generated heat into our advantage of H2O extraction.

Text by technical proposal team