I-MARS program consists of two parts
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 www.i-mars.org.