Marsville Air Supply System Student Page The surface of Mars is a barren, lifeless desert which contains very little oxygen, water or life as we know it. The polar caps consist mainly of carbon dioxide (dry ice) with small amounts of frozen water (ice). This atmosphere has a low pressure and is mostly carbon dioxide. It isn't suitable for humans since we cannot breathe air that contains so little oxygen. In order to maintain the Marsville settlement, you need to develop systems that will allow humans to breathe air that is rich in oxygen. Marsville workers will also have to travel outside the buildings to carry out research on the planet so you may want to create portable systems as well to support exploration outside of the habitat. The atmosphere inside the habitat must be almost totally self-sufficient. Any failure of the atmospheric control system would endanger the lives of the Marsville settlers. Your design must allow for production and storage of an air supply, system monitoring, atmospheric filtering and emergency backup. 1. What type of atmosphere do humans need in order to live? How is this obtained on Earth? 2. What is photosynthesis? How could it be used? 3. What forms of energy could be used to re-circulate the air supply? 4. What other teams systems should be consulted regarding air supply? 5. What backup systems should be considered in case of power failure? 6. What considerations should be made for workers who must leave the safety of the habitation? 7. How can you use the information from the Space Shuttle Discovery missions in your design plans? 8. What materials can you use to make prototypes of your system that would best replicate the materials to be used on Mars? 9. A process called electrolysis can separate water into hydrogen gas and oxygen gas. Another process is being developed to extract oxygen from rocks and soil that contain it. Can these processes be used on Mars? Construct a model of this system based on your design. It must include the application of at least four facts from the “Mars ABC’s.” (For example, how will Mars’ atmosphere or gravity affect the design of your system?) Maybe your system will be very heavy but still portable by only a few Marsville workers because of Mars’ gravity being only 38% of that of Earth’s.