Purdue Engineering Professor Shirley Dyke will lead the effort. She says the work starts with the examination of habitats on Earth.
"How can we apply that same experience and use it for extra-terrestrial habitats? How do we quantify the hazards? How do we design the systems? How do we make sure they’re resilient?” Dyke says.
NASA will provide $15 million over the next five years to research design and operation possibilities. Dyke says planning to build on Mars or the moon is challenging with such limited information.
“So we really need to use all of the data analysis capabilities at our disposal to understand what those hazards are,” says Dyke.
The research will also involve robotics and health monitoring. Purdue will partner with three other universities for the project.