Team Restless | Small Spaces, Big Ideas!

Space Apps Fayetteville, NC

Awards & Nominations

Team Restless has received the following awards and nominations. Way to go!

Global Nominee

The Challenge | Small Spaces, Big Ideas!

Create crew-friendly designs for a habitat and/or its multi-use furniture, to be used for isolation studies on Earth that are researching the environmental and human dimensions of life on another planet.

Let's Go to Mars Already!

One adult, a teenager, and a 6 year old explore how to redesign the HI-SEAS habitat using art, deductive reasoning, and a passion for making a Mars mission reality.

Team Restless

Our Mission

Redesign the HI-SEAS habitat with a future Mars mission in mind. And do it in a way the ensures my students Will never forget the experience.

Our Goals

  • Simplify and standardize the layout of the habitat so that it can be constructed by robots.
  • Make sure astronauts can customize the habitat to fit their mission and personal needs.
  • Make sure the habitat is strong enough to withstand multiple missions over several years.
  • Go about our work in a way that engages younger students.
  • Use as many hands on activities as possible.
  • Have a lot of fun.

What we did

We had a blast of course. But I also think we came up with a viable habitat. Here's some of the tools we used:

  • We used Mine-craft to model the habitat virtually.
  • We created a Mars scene using plaster and news paper.
  • We designed and 3d printed our habitats to be displayed in our Mars scene.
  • We brainstormed all the time. I mean constantly.
  • We created our layouts in adobe illustrator.
  • And we had a complete blast.

Design considerations

1. One of the most basic traits of humans is we like to change our environment to suit our needs, wants, and whims. Popular media if full of programming showing off what people have done with their homes or how they’ve transformed a small space to be more usable. For this reason, in designing our crew habitat for isolation studies here at home, and ultimate use on a Martian outpost, we felt it was important to give the crew a level of control over their environment.

2. Another aspect we wanted to design for is our need for open spaces. Yes, if we’re properly motivated we can subsist in a minimal space for living and working. But we felt that a larger space would make it easier for crews with potentially long and isolated missions. For this reason, we wanted to make sure the size of our habitat wasn’t limited to the size of the delivery vehicle.

3. We also wanted our crew to have ownership of their habitat. We didn’t see where we could do this fully if everything was ready for them upon arrival. We wanted to hit just the right balance of having a habitable space at the start, but one they had to work to bring up to full productivity. While at the same time, giving future crews the opportunity to put their own mark on the space.

4. One design parameter we felt was especially important was to ensure our crew didn’t have to live, eat, play, and work in the same place. As someone who’s worked from home in the past, I personally felt strongly about this. We want our crew to at the very least have the illusion of more space than is absolutely needed. While absolute privacy might not be possible, we want them to have the option of escaping from their surroundings and mission for short times to recharge.

5. Finally, we wanted our habitat to be built by autonomous robots using as much locally sourced construction material as possible. We felt that by using local regolith as a primary construction material, we could better use our limited payload delivery allotment to bring mission oriented equipment and supplies, as well as extra items to make our crew feel more at home.

Our Method

As this habitat is meant for a human crew, the first thing we did was make a list of everything humans need to thrive. We didn’t want a bare minimum. We’re designing this with Mars colonization in mind. And humans don’t work well with just the minimum for very long. What we came up with is as follows:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Water
  • Atmosphere
  • Entertainment
  • Friendship/relationships
  • Energy
  • Infrastructure
  • Accessible information
  • A mission

We decided early on that we didn’t want to answer the question of how to solve these design issues using data or inquest. We wanted to do it with art. We wanted to simply start creating things. But as we created, we would asses what we’d done and adjust it as needed until we had a workable vision. We used the following artistic methods:

  • Drawing and sketching using paper and pencil.
  • Building and modeling the habitat and environment using Mine Craft.
  • Verbally bouncing ideas off each other.
  • Using Fusion 360 to create 3d models for 3d printing.
  • Creating scenarios where we had to close our eyes and walk through imaginary scenes while describing what we saw, felt, needed, and desired.
  • Built a miniature martian landscape using newspaper and plaster.
  • And extensive use of multiple whiteboards

Our Results

Is short, we settled on a three story habitat, including a subterranean level, built mostly of sandbags, a ground level with the outer walls packed with sand, and a top level that's actually a BEAM unit. We also decided rather than having internal walls, we would have support columns with re configurable semi permanent walls and doors. This way the habitat can be mass produced and configured on site. This also means the habitat can be reconfigured when the mission changes, or just when the current floor plan is getting people down.

Made by

Carson White
Edward Greene
Joe Greene

Can't wait for Space Apps 2018.


SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.