Space Exploration: What would a Mars Colony Look Like?

It is well known that NASA is planning to land a robot on Mars in August later this year, with the goal of gathering data and looking for microbial life. In a sense, however, it’s the main target is to increase our preparedness for an eventual human martian colony, although it is unclear when we will be able to do this. This is because many things need to be addressed before any humans touch ground on the planet, such as food, water, transportation and housing/protection. We do have some idea of what a potential colony may look like, however, as NASA has given us small chunks of info over the years.

The Obstacles

There are many challenges that are currently preventing us from establishing a base on the Red Planet, and getting past them could prove extremely difficult or impossible. The main ones, but certainly not the only ones, are:

– the massive distance from Earth
– the inhospitable temperatures
– the dust storms
– the unbreathable atmosphere
– the increased exposure to radiation

Consequently, humans who make it will need extremely advanced technology in order to survive. For instance, habitats will need to be heavily sealed and pressurized, as well as being able to shield effectively against radiation. They will need to have heating and be heavily insulated, and self-sufficient in regards to water and power. They will also need to be well built using local resources as much as possible. This is known as ISRU, or In-Situ Resource Utilization. However, a lot of the furniture and equipment would also need to come from home, so I wouldn’t be too shocked if they use home-use items like theo-theo chairs.

The Habitat

NASA actually ran a public competition to find the best form of housing for a martian colony. It was called the MakerBot Mars Challenge, and entrants were given access to a 3D printer in Brooklyn for the purpose of the competition.

There were two winners. The first was the Mars Pyramid, which was based on the famous Pyramid of Giza, located in Egypt. The logic was that the Pyramid of Giza had lasted thousands of years, largely due to its shape that it allows it to withstand the harshest elements. For the Mars Pyramid, its sides would be made up of solar panels to collect energy with an additional generator inside for backup. Food would be grown at the top of the structure using a sustainable aquaponics system.

The other winner was the Mars Acropolis, a very futuristic design that utilizes stainless steel aluminum and carbon fiber to ensure the main structure is as stable as possible. Additionally, the outer protective wall would be comprised of Martian soil, concrete, and steel. The interior would be comprised of three levels, with a decompression chamber on the ground floor, living quarters on the second floor, and the nerve centre on the third, which would be used for water and observation.

It may be a while before we say anything comes to fruition, but it is very possible that one of these structures could be used on Mars!

The Highest Paying Jobs You Can Get as an Electrician

The field of electrical work is a lucrative field that is constantly in demand. As technology advances, there is always a great need for people with the expertise to maintain, repair and diagnose electrical issues. And Canada, for all its beauty and splendor, has issues that can cause major electrical issues, alongside the standard occurrences too. All of this culminates in a lucrative field that pays out big time. Innovation in electrical engineering has led to smaller companies being able to tackle bigger jobs and earn more. So below are some of the highest-paying jobs you can get as an electrician, so you know what to look out for.

Building Installation

Canada’s landscape is ideal for property development. New real estate is popping up constantly, and these construction projects will require a full electrical installation. This means everything from connecting to the power grid, to installing the plug sockets.  A job like this will take a fair amount of time and skill but will be worth it. These jobs pay out big time. They require more materials and labour than most other jobs and as such mean a bigger paycheque for you and your firm. So it can be a good idea to link up with local construction and real estate firms and start fostering good relationships with them.

Maintenance Work

Public construction projects or street maintenance is often vital to the upkeep of a cities infrastructure. And a lot of the time the complex electrical lines under the ground require very specialised equipment and know-how to deal with. As such these jobs are ones to look out for. The local government will offer lucrative contracts for the firms that snap these jobs up and taking them will lead to consistent and well-paid work in the future if you do a good job. It can be more difficult to get these jobs as a lot of firms will put in bids to get it, so keep a keen eye on job availability.

Industrial Repair

Large industrial sites and companies often make use of complex and technical machinery. And while they will have skilled staff on-site, chances are they won’t have staff that can run technical repairs on the large machinery when it breaks. And these machines are expensive to replace, so often repairing them is the option a company will go for. To that end, they are willing to pay through the nose for a quality repair job. This is where you come in. Establishing yourself as competent industrial repair service when it comes to electrical devices will go a long way to boosting your profits. And more often than not, if you do a good job, your reputation will mean other firms and industries will seek out your services. Companies are more likely to hire a company they know and trust, and one with good references, so if you get out and network you stand a better chance.