Completed Mars house presented in Strasbourg

Now that all partners from five countries—Estonia, France, Austria, Belgium and Czech Republic—have filled their part in building the Mars house, constructed for extreme living conditions, the self-erecting house with a unique design is complete. It is very likely that it will be used in future space related experiments.

The international Mars house project began at the beginning of 2013 and Estonians were given a task of great responsibility—creating the technology of the self-erecting house. In January 2015, researchers of the University of Tartu Institute of Technology finished their part of the project and sent the house, which packs and unpacks itself within a few minutes, to France where partners continued to install the interior and life-providing systems.

By now the house, which was named after the challenging living conditions on planet Mars, is complete and it was presented on 15 December in Strasbourg in France at the International Space University. Mars house project manager at UT Institute of Technology Priit Kull said that in all likelihood the Mars house will remain at the International Space University: “Starting next year, the house is on the market, so to say, and then we will see what the market wants of it.”

Kull was hopeful that after the successful completion of the Mars house, the UT team will get new opportunities to participate in similar projects. “There have been some talks, but nothing certain as of yet,” Kull implied.

In its packed form the house is a 6 metres long and 2.4 metres wide box, which weighs 6000 kg and fits on the trailer of a large truck. In a typical mission scenario, the construction can house two people for at least two weeks. The building has all the necessary rooms and its design resembles a classical home: sleeping area, kitchen, bathroom, toilet and work rooms.

Researchers of UT Institute of Technology built the Mars house in the framework of the international SHEE project. The goal of the SHEE project is to develop a planetary habitat testbed for terrestrial analogue simulations. The so called Mars house is well-suited, for example, to use on Earth in disaster areas or in extreme conditions during research work.

Additional information: Priit Kull, Mars house project manager at UT Institute of Technology, tel. 5242138, e-mail: