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i - MARS

Indian Mars Analogue Research Station (i-MARS)

i Mars is a program by Mars HomeBase Organiation entre, India to develop Mars analog Research Stations in India. Many such stations are built by researchers in other countries to explore and understand challenges involved in manned settlement on Mars. Mars HomeBase is attempting to build first in the country so that technologies and solutions developed can be put to test in Mars like environment, providing useful data on efficacy, usefulness.

These stations cane be used by both academia and industry to test concepts, solutions and processes. Currently, there are three Mars Analogue Research Stations, one each USA, Canada and Australia

FMARS- Flashline MARS station

The Flashline Mars Artic Research Station (FMARS) is the first Mars Analogue Research Station developed by Mars Society, USA.  This station is located on Devon Island, a Mars analog environment and polar desert, approximately 165 KM(103 mi) north east of the hamlet of Resolute in Nunavut, Canada. The habitat, commonly referred to as “the Hab”, is a 7.7 metres (25 ft) tall cylinder that measures 8.3 metres (27 ft) in diameter and is used as the living area during simulation. Total cost for development was around 1.7 million US dollars and this station is in operation even today, 20 years  since birth.

Mars Desert Research Station

The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is the largest running Mars surface simulation facility in the world, The MDRS station is built near Hanksville, Utah, USA. The MDRS campus includes a two-story habitat (the Hab), a greenhouse (the GreenHab), a solar observatory (the Musk Observatory), a robotic observatory, an engineering pod (the RAM) and a science building (the Science Dome). Simulated tunnels between all of the buildings except the robotic observatory allow crews to travel between the buildings without a spacesuit while they are in simulation (sim). This analogue station is still in operation even today.

Euro M-A-R-S Station

 Euro MARS station is slightly different from FMARS and MDRS in that it provides three decks: The uppermost deck contains sleeping quarters for the 6-person crew, and storage space for on-board systems and / or additional equipment. The mid-deck provides a dedicated communications centre / solar storm shelter, a galley, exercise area, storage bins and a living / working area, and hygiene facilities. The lower deck provides two micro laboratories, a main repair / medical treatment area, 2 airlocks and an EVA prep area.

The European unit has been deliberately designed for expansion – additional equipment and technology, such as water recycling systems, can be added to the unit as they become available. This station is designed but construction is not completed as of today.


i-MARS is a program by Mars HomeBase Organization to develop Mars analog Research Stations in India. Mars HomeBase approach to Analogue station is different from the ones already built in USA, CANADA.  There will be many iterations of stations, each sized based on the possibilities of Spacex Starship or Blue Origin rocket. Emphasis is more on In-situ construction techniques, expansion, maintenance and overall sustainability.  Once funding/ground work matters are finalized, a separate portal will be maintained to record activities of  I-MARS program under URL

I-MARS program consists of two parts

      1. Survivability
      2. Exploration

Both exploration and habitat ( survivability) are mutually complementary in nature; in the sense that, to survive you need to explore for minerals , water, energy etc and to explore you need to survive the harsh Mars environment. You cannot live on Mars without exploration and you cannot explore Mars without surviving. I-MARS program starts with two separate domains mutually exclusive to each other. When exploration restrictions are not imposed on habitat development, one can probably come out with best possible habitat for Mars conditions. Similarly when habitat restrictions are not imposed, probably best exploration process, including tools, methodology, hardware be developed.

Once best of both solutions in domains in sight, a composite solution conforming to both can be arrived. This approach is somewhat similar to software development used in the industry.

Unlike other Mars analogue research stations developed in America, Australia or Europe, Mars HomeBase approach is quite different in following ways

  • There will be many Analogue Stations, first I- MARS Station being named I-MARS ARYA.
  • I-MARS is not all in one station. A particular area of research is chosen and mission activity is performed in that area to understand and enhance technology. For example, I-MARS ARYA, the first planned Analogue station is focused on interior optimization, intelligent storage management, survivability inside the habitat. Exploration work is not considered in this analogue station.
  • Unlike other Analogue stations, I-MARS stations will continue to evolve, modified or re built through iterations to incorporate lessons learned from previous analogue missions.

I-MARS program can be accessed under URL

Many Iterations

Not just one, but many stations built regularly based on experience gained in previous analogue stations

Size matches rocket capabilities

Dimension, height, diameter, mass match the available loading capabilities of rockets like SpaceX Starship or Blue Origin.

In-Situ sustenance, and management

Emphasis is on practical solutions based on survivability on Mars.

Would like to part of i-MARS program!

Be part of efforts by humanity to develop technologies needed to survive and colonize Mars.