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The dream of establishing a human colony on Mars goes back decades, and it will likely be at least many more decades before anything comes to fruition. But the immense technical challenge presented by human exploration of Mars has not deterred scientists from sketching out optimal strategies for long-term habitation on the Red Planet.
The latest iteration of the long tradition of speculative Mars bases is now in development at the Swiss university École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). This concept focuses on constructing an igloo-like structure at the planet’s north pole. Forthcoming research in Acta Astronautica led by Anne-Marlene Rüede, a student at EPFL’s Space Engineering Center (eSpace), describes how ice and dust at Mars’s poles could be harvested
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