HP Spearheads Virtual Reality Simulation of Life on Mars for 1 Million Inhabitants
Andrew Wheeler posted on August 09, 2017 | 1567 views

You’re at a party on Mars to celebrate the arrival of the millionth colonist. What do you see around you?

As a thought experiment, imagining life on Mars for a million people provokes many questions about how an extra planetary colony could possibly work. Virtual reality simulations of theoretical possibilities would offer interested parties the chance to experience a vision of what life might be like on the red planet.

Established to simulate everything imaginable about the physical reality of a built environment on a Mars populated by 1 million humans, HP Mars Home Planet is the name of a new collaboration between HP, NVIDIA, Autodesk, Fusion Media Group, Unreal Engine, VIVE, Launch Forth and Technicolor.

What kind of structures could be built? How could they be built? Would it only be an asteroid mining colony? How could the artificial climate needed to sustain human life be sustainably engineered?

The collaboration centers around Mars 2030, which was created by NASA and Fusion Media Group. HP and its partners are beginning the process of bringing together engineers, artists, designers, students and others to join the project hive and contribute. (Image courtesy of NASA and Fusion Media Group.)
The collaboration centers around Mars 2030, which was created by NASA and Fusion Media Group. HP and its partners are beginning the process of bringing together engineers, artists, designers, students and others to join the project hive and contribute. (Image courtesy of NASA and Fusion Media Group.)

The project supposes that colonists might even be comprised of families at some point after 2030, and that these families would by necessity be involved in understanding and working on solutions to various engineering problems—kind of like space pioneers.

Composed of three phases during the project’s year-long duration, the first phase is titled the “Home Planet’s Mars Urbanization Challenge,” and will focus on the design, engineering and creation of infrastructure and transportation for a specific location.

Autodesk is contributing 3D modeling software to design pretty much anything from infrastructure to transportation and farming. Technicolor is providing the expertise at Unreal Engine to create the simulation based on Mars Valley characteristics designed in Fusion’s “Mars 2030” experience, which in turn is based on data from NASA.

Launch Forth, a product development group consisting of designers and engineers, will be managing the HP Mars Home Planet project, which is part of HP’s recent push into the virtual reality space.

If you’re interested in the HP Mars Home Planet mission and would like to begin working on the first phase of the Mars Urbanization Challenge, click here.


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