Last summer, Daniel Garcia Espinel was vacationing in the Canary Islands with his wife and three children when a tweet from HP caught his eye: It was a call for design proposals for a colony on Mars — for 1 million people. Espinel turned to his 7-year-old daughter, Amalia, and asked, “Want to help me develop the first city on Mars?”
Soon Espinel’s wife, son, and other daughter joined in as well. Just five months later, their family project — complete with a drawing by Amalia of a logo for their Martian city — became one of nine winners in the first round of HP’s Mars Home Planet challenge. “It was a fantastic experience!” says Espinel.
Launched in July 2017, Mars Home Planet is a yearlong, public virtual-reality project that invites students, scientists and space fans to collaborate on envisioning human life on Mars via a series of competitions.
Nearly 34,000 people participated in the first round through online discussions and collaborations, and close to 500 entries were submitted for six categories, including transportation, architecture and engineering.
Designing a happy life for a million humans
Participants are designing everything from the buildings people might live and work in to the systems for raising the food they’ll eat on the Red Planet. By next summer, the best of these co-created ideas will be turned into a virtual-reality experience that anyone will be able to explore.
To accomplish this, HP partnered with leaders in gaming and computer-graphics design — including talent from NVIDIA, Technicolor, Autodesk, Unreal Engine, HTC Vive, Fusion and Launch Forth — to lend their expertise in VR rendering, 3D modeling and collaboration.