the new Mars Yard
Martin J. Fogg (space exploration activist) argues that the only way to know whether life can really take place in the red planet is to explore the planet by living there, but since going to Mars is part of the challenge that will take many years to overcome why not simulate the environment in the terrain we know. Rather than going to Mars, we shall bring Mars to Earth.
A new type of Mars Yard (Pre-Ecopoiesis Mars Yard-PEMY) is thus proposed where the planet Mars is simulated on the terrestrial setting of Florida. A existing Mars yard is typically a plot of land where different sized rocks and rubble are assembled to recreate the Martian landforms, these however are a very naive representation of the planet. PEMY allows for Earth bound, site specific Mars simulation to take place to provide an intelligent testing site for scientific vehicles and inventions parallel to being an educational landscape instrument for the public. It aims to be the new kind of Space Science building where the public is engaged at various levels of science, from the spectacle where they view the simulation of dust devils, to the scientific where they can get close to experiencing Marian light and temperatures.
PEMY aims to be a self sufficient landscape instruments that generates its own electricity. The concept is to use the energy from a star to enable the simulation of another planet. This means that PEMY functions is relation to the sun hours. It uses a main heliostat to follow the sun and supply secondary reflector that further manipulate the light to simulate light and temperatures of Mars. It uses solar ponds located in the central voids of selected craters for back up electricity and energy supply after sunset hours.
The planet is simulated using two planes to represent the two very different hemispheres of mars, within which more detailed simulations take place. There is topography simulations of Mars at 1:1 scale for specific terrain samples as well as more design intuitive simulation like the simulation of a grand crater where inclination of numerous other craters can be represented. Crevasses are recreated on the landscape to be the host of dust devil simulation (a phenomenon very common in Mars), and Olympus Mons inclinations are found on the light simulation plane.
The project is a proving ground for a new type of architecture where space science can become part of a public culture and allow for public interaction. This kind of architecture does not exist, but its invention could offer a great opportunity for new architecture typologies, bringing a more interdisciplinary approach to architecture itself.
PEMY Light Simulation Zone