Architects behind Apple’s spaceship campus set their sights on Mars


Foster + Partners want to take on Mars.
Foster + Partners want to take on Mars.
Photo: Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners is currently making a name for itself by designing Apple’s new spaceship campus and flagship stores, but once it’s done taking over Earth, the London-based architecture firm wants to help NASA create human colonies on Mars.

Norman Foster’s firm revealed its plans for a 93-square meter habitat that would be 3D printed from the loose soil and rocks on the the martian surface. The firm’s designs were shortlisted as a finalist for the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge hosted by NASA and America Makes.

This is the same architecture firm that designed Apple’s spaceship in Cupertino as well as most of the flagship Apple Store. While the structures presented in the Mars plan are vastly different from what Apple uses, it shows the kind of crazy ideas that go into modern architecture, some of which can be implemented in one way or another here on Earth.

Here’s how the firm says it would put 4 astronauts on the red planet:

See four minutes of jaw-dropping space travel in this sci-fi short


A group of people await the arrival of a few dirigibles at the edge of the Victoria Crater on Mars in Erik Werquist's short film
People await the arrival of dirigibles at the edge of Mars' Victoria Crater in Erik Werquist's short film Wanderers.

You can wait until the 2030s when NASA hopes to land astronauts on Mars. Or, if you have four minutes to spare right now, you can see what it is like to stand on the edge of the red planet’s Victoria Crater or catch a Martian sunset.

Erik Wernquist will even throw in a side of rings — Saturn’s that is — for watching his awe-inducing short film, Wanderers, which is embedded below.

“I am always inspired by reading about astronomy, and planetary astronomy in particular,” Wernquist told Cult of Mac. “And when I read about, or see pictures from places, I often fantasize about what it would … feel like to actually be there.”

View 360-Degree Martian Panoramas With Your Gyroscope-Equipped iOS Device


Search for Martians using your pocket computer.

Are you ready to have your mind blown? Then take a look at this 360-degree panorama of the surface of Mars, complete with cameo appearance by the Curiosity rover. And here’s the (literal) twist: the picture is gyroscope-friendly, so you can scan the surface of the Red Planet by sweeping your iOS device up and down, left and right.

Why The Curiosity Rover Only Has A Two-Megapixel Camera



Why does the Curiosity rover only have a 2MP camera, along with just 8GB flash storage? Is it some special NASA trick that pulls more info from low-res sensors? Is it something to do with the kind of space radiation that turned Reed Richards and team into the Fantastic Four? Nope – it turns out that the reason that the Mars Rover is using 8-year-old camera technology is because the camera design was specced eight years ago, way back in the swirling mists of 2004.