Korolev Craters Administrative Region concept suggests a possible road to introducing human colonies on Mars, while terraforming the crater into a utopic living environment.
KCSAR was presented at the Mars City State Design Contest semi-finals during their 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention. KCSAR was created as an immediate solution to establishing a human presence on Mars, while inevitably setting the scene for exponential habitat expansion. I was introduced to the project by Alex Sharp and assist his team through the creation of the following data complementary visuals.
THE UNDERGROUND NETWORK
The initial dome design is determined by function over form, as seen by the pressurised surface dome design. Beneath the ice, a larger network of interconnected domes allows for complex operations such as local marine gardens and water features segmented by transparent walls showcasing the overhead ice of the subglacial lake. When designing the art for this scenario blender was used to create a linework underlay. After rendering, an exported png was then traced in Concepts app to ensure an accurate perspective was achieved.
WATER AS THE FEATURE
One such water feature is the unique underwater beach installation. Built within a dome segment submerged beneath the glacier the structure would regulate its internal air pressure to match that of the exterior water pressure. This then allows for small openings to allow water into the centre of the dome and maintain an artificial pond with free-flowing access to the wider subglacial lake. The dome itself would behave as a subtropical biome with a floor composed of crushed regolith sand, overhead lights and deposited waste heat from the dome's power generator.
CONSTRUCTION ON MARS
One of the chemical pathways that are economically essential for survival is the production of plastics and other bulk materials. The Martian soil is rich in raw materials such as iron and steel which can be easily obtained through small mining bases possibly located on the outskirts of the colony. Semi-autonomous robots would perform the majority of mining tasks and would be built from interchangeable parts found on KCSAR. A set of early thumbnail images, as well as final linework and rendering of the envisioned mining settlement, are recorded below.
A DAYS END
To achieve a Martian ambience reference photos were used to select the colour pallet that informed the visual accuracy of the artwork. As the design approached completion, layers of fog brushes were used to tone down the environment's colour saturation and achieve a toned appearance. A final crimson screening was added to give the whole scene a reddish, Martian afternoon look - illustrating the end of a workday.
TERRAFORMING THE CRATER
The colony's future would hold substantial geo-scaping to make the crater habitable for humans. We envisioned a crater teeming with life. A central aluminium space frame construction would eclipse the rim while a clear layer of bioplastic and lipid-derived wax would act as a counterweight to the air pressure and double as thermal insulation.