If you have ever wondered what a future habitat on Mars might be like, the amazingly designed website exploreMARSnow.org is well worth a visit. The gorgeous 3D virtual tour and pop-up info journey is one of the most enjoyable space-tours I’ve experienced online. According to the embarrassment of awards the site received in 2003 upon launching, a few other people agree. Although it seems the site hasn’t been updated in some time (having completed “stage 2″, everyone quit the base) it does not diminish the experience.
The website is the brainchild of Nexterra Inc, a non-profit organization formed in 2001 by designers who love space. By collaborating with scientists, technologists and other design artists, this collection of beautiful and informative drawings and data came to life.
It is interesting to note that Kurt Micheels, Co-Founder and Director of Space Architecture and Engineering for Nexterra, went on to act as an advisor for the Discovery Channel’s Race to Mars Miniseries. It’s yet another example of artists coming together with scientists to create some martian magic – and another really nifty website!
If you enjoy drafting, you will find it very inspiring to see other designers and architects who are using their skills to reach out to the public by illustrating the beauty of space and future of space exploration. Personally, I can’t wait to see what Kurt Micheels and his pals come up with next. But in the meantime, why not take a page from their book and start your own non-profit space design collective? Someone’s got to do it.
- The Challenges of Building a Mars Base (science.slashdot.org)