Scientists sketch out the foundations of a colony on Mars

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The research base would consist of three modules: a central core, capsules and a dome. The central core would be 12.5 meters high and 5 meters in diameter, and would house the minimal living space as well as everything the crew needed to live. The three capsules would be built around the minimal living space and serve as airlocks between that space and the exterior. Robots would set up these structures during the first phase of the mission. The dome would cover the entire base and would be made of polyethylene fiber covered with a three-meter thick layer of ice – creating a kind of igloo. The dome would also represent an additional living space, provide a second barrier to protect the crew against radiation and micrometeoroids, and help keep the pressure constant inside the base. via