Students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) won the prize for the best Mars City Design.

The international Mars City Design competition asks participants to design habitats suitable for Mars. A team of engineers and architects from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) won the prize.

Both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are sponsors of this competition.

The purpose of Mars City Design competition is to solve the problem of building livable and sustainable spaces on the Red Planet.

Students of MIT won the first place with their unique tree-inspired Mars city concept, titled Redwood Forest.

Redwood Forest can provide up to 10,000 human travelers with comfort and safety.

At the first glance, the domes seem to be very small and not so comfy. However, just like trees, they connect through a system of tunnels that students call “roots.” These tunnel systems connect the domes and provide additional protection from surface threats.

Students designed each dome-shaped tree habitat to house up to 50 people. They want to build about 200 of them to support a settlement of 10,000 pioneers.

There are private and public spaces there. Also, according to the statement, the northern plains of Mars would be able to provide water and harvest plants.

“On Mars, our city will physically and functionally mimic a forest, using local Martian resources such as ice and water, regolith or soil, and Sun to support life,” Sumini told MIT News.

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Sumini continued… “Designing a forest also symbolizes the potential for outward growth as nature spreads across the Martian landscape. Each tree habitat incorporates a branching structural system and an inflated membrane enclosure, anchored by tunneling roots.”

According to a statement, trees will be able to collect energy from the sun and use it to process and transport the water throughout the tree.

Our journey to colonizing Mars is getting better and better each day.

Thumbnail credit: Valentina Sumini / MIT Redwood Forest Team