German firm ZA Architects has come up with a concept idea for the colonization of Mars. Since the first step to building a colony there is to have habitable areas, or at least shelters, the concept suggests that such shelters or caves be built underground. The idea is to send minimal resources from Earth, except solar powered robotic machines that would then get to work building hexagonal shaped structures on the red planet.
Robots would be sent to the basalt bedrock formations of Mars, choosing naturally forming hexagonal columns of the rock, which they will then dig into for the creation of interior spaces. Basalt rocks are formed by quickly cooling lava, and are also found on Earth. The robots would use the structures of basalt fibers to create floors within the cave. As the architects put it, the fiber is stronger and lighter than steel, does not burn or corrode, is easier to operate and apparently is more versatile than carbon nanotubes.
Robots on Mars would work with the plentiful basalt fiber, and might even be able to place it as the traditional building material on the red planet. Of course, machines to do such work are not currently available, but as humanity’s interest in colonization of space grows, they might be available soon.