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Mars here we come?

01/09/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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4Frontiers Corporation says it plans to establish the first private commerical Martian settlement - and will beat NASA to the job if it has to.

The 4Frontiers Corporation, has announced its plan for the first permanent habitation on another planet, revealing technical and social aspects of establishing an initial human settlement on Mars.

The bold plan is based in part on the work of the Mars Foundation ( but will be carried out within an expansive 4Frontiers business plan.

4Frontiers is engaging with space transportation, technical, policy and financial partners to develop the systems and technologies needed to establish this new branch of civilization. The business plan also calls for the establishment of a revolutionary Mars Settlement Outreach and Research Center, here on Earth, to advance these efforts.

While a number of companies have set their sites on advancements in getting to Mars, few have laid out plans with technical reality and actual designs to quickly and affordably establish settlement. For example, Elon Musk of Space Exploration Technologies (, is developing the human-rated Falcon 5 launcher, and has plans to develop a super-heavy lift rocket as part of a strategy to get to Mars.

However, "4Frontiers is positioned to be the leader in actual "on-the-ground" settlement housing, life support, and industrial technology," said Mark Homnick, CEO of 4Frontiers. "We have utilized detailed knowledge of the planet and the extensive know-how of our technical team to develop a plan for a small but sustainable settlement, leveraging use of locally derived materials," said Joseph Palaia, VP of Research & Development.

A settlement on Mars would translocate the human genome to another planet effectively creating a new Biosphere. While it may take "rocket science" to get to Mars, once there "The lessons learned from large scale closed systems, such as Biosphere 2, a project supported by billionaire Ed Bass, have demonstrated a clear path for small-scale sustainability and offer critical elements for a Mars based ecologically sustainable settlement," said Bruno D.V. Marino, a consultant to 4Frontiers and former Director of Science and Research at Biosphere 2.

4Frontiers has already begun research programs covering in-situ manufacturing of building materials, extraction of oxygen and water, and the establishment of Martian ecosystems to produce diverse food crops. The company plans to unveil additional research and development programs in the near future.

4Frontiers is making strides in establishing a Mars Settlement Research and Outreach Center.

"This unique facility will serve as a nexus for space technology development and consultancy, focused initially on technologies having commonality with those needed both for Mars settlement and for the President's Moon Mars Initiative," Bruce Mackenzie, 4Frontiers VP and Director of the Mars Foundation told

The 25,000 sq foot facility, assuming the form of a full-scale replica of the actual first settlement, will provide the public an unprecedented glimpse of life on the early Mars frontier, and will allow the public to interact with scientists and engineers who will be turning this vision into reality.

4Frontiers is presently in negotiations with a number of agencies, investigating the possibility of locating this facility in New Mexico, Central Florida or Colorado.

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