A terrible film but some good visuals! I was impressed with the Habitat and Biodome designs though they don't appear particularly modular.
Another below average Mars film I'm afraid (Synopsis below) but some interesting visuals to draw inspiration. The Mars Entry Vehicle is the only real piece of surface Technology / Architecture on show in the film. The vehicle utilises a combination of systems from Heat Shield to Parachute to Propellant brakes and a Final emergency airbag system similar to designs used to land rovers on the surface of Mars. In dramatic Hollywood style, the airbags take on a much greater responsibility for landing due to the propellant powered base unit being prematurely ejected.
Brief Synopsis of Film
The basic premise is familiar. The earth is overpopulated / polluted and continued growth is unsustainable. The international community club together to build a space programme with the aim to colonise Mars. Terraforming pods are sent to the planet containing 'atmosphere changing' algaes which will grow and release gases to help rebalance to mainly CO2 atmosphere.
A crew is sent to Mars to investigate a sharp drop in Oxygen production by the algae. Queue the usual view of a ship departing on a long voyage, crew introductions and banter, a catastrophic accident followed by an 80% death toll caused in part by a malfunctioning robot.
It transpires that the spread of algae has awoken a dormant species of insects who are gratefully tucking into the this new food source. This growing insect population produces oxygen as a waste product far more efficiently than the algae and to such an extent that by the time the crew reach the surface, the Martian air is breathable!
With a little help from Carrie-Anne Moss, Val Kilmer is the only survivor of the robot and insect carnage, He leaves Mars with a sample of insects whose biochemistry conveniently turns out to be the key to solving the problems on Earth. The End. 4/10
This fantastic book by Kim Stanley Robinson first kindled my interest in Mars and the real potential for human settlement on the Red Planet.
The book follows a large international crew from their outbound journey to Mars, through the early years of settlement, to the large scale colonisation and terraforming of the planet.
The book is full of technical detail and socio political insight and the vast amount of research required to write the book shines through.
Of particular interest to me was the early years of settlement, where we see the crew gradually setting up facilities from equipment drops sent to the planet prior to their arrival. The farm / Science Labs / Habitats / Factories / Nuclear power generator...the list goes on. They go on to build a permanent habitat incorporating repetitive barrel vaulted techniques using regolith bricks, formed onsite. [I intend to cover this building type in a further extended blog post]
The book leaps more and more into the realm of science fiction as it progresses but remains an entertaining read. I'll follow this post with some transcripts from the book which i found particularly inspirational. 8.5/10
The biosphere team had warehouses of equipment to set up the farm, the waste recyclers, the gas-exchange mechanism, in essence their whole infrastructure; and the medical team had more warehouses of supplies for the clinic, and their research labs, and the genetic-engineering facility. “You know what this is,” Nadia said to Sax Russell one evening looking around her warehouse, “It is an entire town , disassembled and lying in pieces.” “And a very prosperous town at that.” “Yes, a university town. With first-rate departments in several sciences.”
The purpose of this blog is to collate inspirational and informative material relating to a future colonial voyage to Mars and the first human settlement on the red planet.