Challenges in Construction on Mars: Factors | Obstructions | List of Materials


Mars is one of the planets in the Solar system and the 4th planet from the Sun at a distance of 228.42 million km. However, the Earth to Mars distance is 339.76 million km.

Due to the fact that the rotation period of Mars and the tilt of the rotational axis relative to the ecliptic plane are equivalent to those of earth, its days and seasons are much equivalent to those of Earth.

These features of Mars and its amazing topography and landforms have inflamed strong interest in Mars exploration and the possibility of future Martian (who live on Mars) immigration.

In the 21st century, with the improvement and innovation of space science and technology, Mars exploration has received more concentration. Many countries have created or are planning their programs towards Mars, among which are the U.S., Russia, European Space Agency (ESA), China, Japan and India.

This blog post provides an overview of available structural material for construction on Mars, possible construction methods and prospects which can be a valuable reference for future infrastructure construction on Mars.


It is widely suggested that Mars will be the successive destination for the human halt. However, building up a habitat needs joint work from multiple disciplines, of which engineering is an integral part. Similar to metropolitan construction, the technical issues including construction raw material development, space construction technology and intelligent maintenance must be addressed before human inhabitation. The objective of this article is to review a series of current Mars investigation results and focus on the study about the material available on Mars which can be further utilised for infrastructure construction on Mars, possible infrastructure construction technologies are proposed as well.


When we think about Mars as our second home but for living safely shelter is most important. On earth, everything is favourable for our lifestyles like Climate, Resources and various other naturally available materials. But in the case of Mars life is not easy like  Earth. Following factors affect our lifestyle and Infrastructure Development on Mars:

A. Landforms and Geology of   Mars

At present, the Martian surface is primarily composed of the dust-covered region (yellow) and southern plateaus(pink). The prominent landforms include plain, basin, volcano, mountains, canyons, etc.

With three Mars years of research data, they found thermal behaviours of most areas be in control of by geology layers. Duricrusts or deserts over fines spread in mid-latitudes while dust-covered rock, soils with shallow ice are distributed in polar regions.

1. Discovered the composition diversity on a small scale on Martian surface based on the study of OMEGA, and found mafic iron-bearing silicates in the northern and southern crust, ice and frosts in the north polar cap, and flimsy carbon dioxide–ice on the south polar.

2. Odyssey discovered the Martian surface contained basalt, also rich in olivine.

3. The Mars rover InSight examined the structure under the surface, which is dominated by red dust, regolith below, and enormous chunks of rock.

4. It also detected Mars is a seismically active planet, but in observation, it is seen that the magnitude of earthquakes was less than 4 mW.

B. Atmosphere Composition of Mars

The composition of the atmosphere of Mars is dissimilar from that of Earth. Mars’ atmosphere is composed primarily of carbon dioxide (about 96%), with negligible amounts of other gases such as argon and nitrogen. The atmosphere is very thin, however, and the atmospheric pressure at the surface of Mars is only about 0.6 per cent of Earth’s (101,000 pascals). Scientists think that Mars may have had a thicker atmosphere earlier in its history of Mars.

Major atmospheric compositions in Mars and Earth

Major Atmospheric Compositions



Carbon Dioxide















C. Climate of Mars

The distance between Mars and the Sun is 228 million kilometres, which is 1.5 times the distance between the sun and the Earth. Thus, 586.2 W/m2 solar radiation obtained by Mars is less than 1361.0 W/m2 solar radiation received by the earth.

The moderate temperature on the surface of Mars is -63° C with a maximum daily temperature difference of 60° C, while the average temperature on Earth is 15° C with a highest daily temperature difference of 30° C.


On the construction site the practice of collection, processing, storing and use of materials found or manufactured on other astronomical objects that replace materials originated from Earth.

Research has shown that ISRU can provide materials which are  water, rocket propellant and construction materials.

  1. Martian Soil: Definition of this material varies, mainly containing regolith, aeolian or fluvial deposit, sediment, dust, and soil.
  2. Martian Soil Simulants: Martian soil may be used on Mars only after it is synthesised on Earth for testing and development.
  3. Basalt: Basalt rock is also a common rock on Mars surface. Basalt rock is a type of igneous rock that originates from the cooling of lava (magma) rich in magnesium and iron disclosed or very near the surface of a terrestrial planet.
  4. Volcanic ash: There are many volcanic landforms on Mars therefore due to iron-containing ash Mars is Red Planet.
  5. Martian Concrete: The successful application of concrete on Mars requires a comparative review of available in-situ resources. To make concrete in the Mars climate, the first thing is to investigate potential raw materials for the making of concrete including binder, water and aggregates.
  6. Metals and Alloys: Scientists developed  different types  of the freezing and evaporation processes of Martian fluids from the weathering of basalts, and found an important fraction of Si, Fe, S, Mg, Ca, Cl, Na, K and Al stay in the liquid state under cold temperatures (below 273 K).
  7. Energy sources: (Isotopic thermoelectric generation, Solar panels,

Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url