Saturday, October 23, 2021

Martian aesthetics of Dune (2021) movie

The most recent adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel "Dune" – Denis Villeneuve's movie "Dune: Part One" (2021) was one of the most anticipated sci-fi movies of the year. It was released internationally on September 15 and in the US on October 22. The movie is brilliant and without a doubt the best visual adaptation of the famous novel. We are waiting for Part Two.

Dune has always been somewhat Martian. And the most recent movie is not an exception. Granted, planet Dune is a hot desert, not cold as Mars is, has breathable atmosphere, advanced life forms and Earth-like gravity but the scenery is pretty Martian. The landscapes in Villeneuve's movie has even been filmed in the same place where The Martian (2015) has been – Wadi Rum desert in Jordan. And it doesn't stop at landscapes – the Brutalist buildings of Arrakeen has Martian vibes as well.
Arrakeen Palace:
Arrakeen Palace in Dune (2021) movie
Ornithopter flying in Dune's sky:
Ornithopter in Dune (2021) movie
Atreides spaceships and troops arriving on Dune:
Atreides spaceships in Dune (2021) movie
Arrakeen city:
Arrakeen in Dune (2021) movie
Ornithopter leaving research station:
Ornithopter leaving research station in Dune (2021) movie

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Starship spaceport at Mars Base Alpha

A futuristic vision of a Starman walking past spaceport at Mars Base Alpha in 2080 by YouTuber iamVisual. There are several SpaceX Starships and Starman's Tesla Cybertruck parked at the spaceport. We estimate such sight will be possible much sooner – in around 2040.

Starman walking near Starship spaceport at Mars Base Alpha by iamVisual

Monday, October 18, 2021

Mars exploration roadtrip by Pascal Lee

Over the years planetary scientist, the director of Haughton-Mars Project, Pascal Lee has created a set of paintings depicting a Mars exploration roadtrip. Here are several of them. More of his Mars related paintings here.
Stopping at a crater in Utopia Planitia:
Mars exploration roadtrip by Pascal Lee
Astronauts exploring a lava tube on Mars:
Astronauts exploring a lava tube on Mars by Pascal Lee
Mars exploration rover:
Mars exploration rover by Pascal Lee
Astronaut exploring Mars:
Astronaut exploring Mars by Pascal Lee

Friday, October 8, 2021

SpaceX Starship on Mars by Erik Corshammar

SpaceX's Starship standing proud on Mars with astronauts from the first human mission to the Red planet - a vision by Swedish space designer Erik Corshammar (Erc X). More of his art here.

SpaceX Starship on Mars by Erik Corshammar

Astronaut standing near SpaceX Starship on Mars by Erik Corshammar

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Domed Mars colony by Steven Hobbs

Picture of the Day 19/09/2021 - domed oasis and human colony on Mars by Australian graphic designer Steven Hobbs. More of his Mars art here.

Domed Mars colony by Steven Hobbs

Friday, September 17, 2021

Mars base in Civilization 6 strategy game

Civilization 6 (Sid Meier's Civilization VI) is a turn-based strategy game released in 2016. The goal for the player is to develop a civilization from an early settlement through many in-game millennia to become a world power and achieve one of several victory conditions. One of the paths to win the game is through science domination where you need to be the first to launch a satellite, land humans on the Moon and establish a Martian colony.

Mars base in Civilization 6 game (science victory)
Spaceship approaching Mars to establish a colony there:
Spaceship approaching Mars in Civilization 6 game (science victory)
Full in-game cinematic for science victory:

Monday, September 13, 2021

Infographic of SpaceX Starship timeline by Ryan MacDonald

Exoplanet astronomer at Cornell University's Carl Sagan Institute Ryan MacDonald (known on social media as Martian Colonist) has created an infographic of SpaceX's aspirational timeline for Starship's first missions to the Moon and Mars.


We estimate realistically the timeline will slip for a few years with #dearMoon mission happening in 2025, Lunar Starship demo landing in 2026, humans returning to the Moon in 2027, first cargo mission landing on Mars in 2027 and first crew mission landing on Mars in 2031.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Mars exploration expedition returning to their base

Mars exploration expedition finally returning to their base at sunset before the onset of a cold Martian night by Mondolithic Studios (Chris Wren & Kenn Brown).

Mars exploration expedition by Mondolithic Studios

Saturday, August 28, 2021

First Russian cosmonauts on Mars by Alexander Ovcharenko

First Russian cosmonauts on Mars by freelance concept artist Alexander Ovcharenko (袗谢械泻褋邪薪写褉 袨胁褔邪褉械薪泻芯) for Project "小小小袪-2061" - a community of Russian artists and writers envisioning Soviet Union in 2061 in an alternate reality. In 2011 they held their 1st arts contest asking participants to envision Soviet Union on Mars 50 years into the future. More images for the project here.

First Russian cosmonauts on Mars by Alexander Ovcharenko for CCCP-2061 contest

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Starship Super Heavy launch pads at Mars City

As SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk has acknowledged, eventually Super Heavy booster stages for Starships could be manufactured on Mars as a launch platform for outer Solar system missions. Here is a vision of several Starship Super Heavy (in its 2016 design, then called Interplanetary Transport System) launch pads at Mars City's spaceport by US designer Casey Alexander.

"Mars City" is the name Elon Musk gave to SpaceX's future human colony on Mars (now referred to as "Mars Base Alpha") in some earlier presentations of SpaceX's Mars colonization architecture.

SpaceX Starship at Mars city (Mars Base Alpha) by Casey Alexander

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Domed park on a space station orbiting Mars

Picture of the Day 15/08/2021 - domed monumental park on a gigantic space station orbiting Mars by concept art and visual development house West Studio.

Domed park on a space station orbiting Mars by West Studio

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

SpaceX Lunar Starship delivering cargo for Artemis Base Camp

SpaceX's Lunar Starship, selected to return humans to the Moon, delivering cargo and crew for NASA's Artemis Base Camp on the Moon's South Pole. Concept artwork created by US 3D artist Nick Henning.

SpaceX's Lunar Starship delivering cargo and crew for NASA's Artemis Base Camp by Nick Henning

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Human colony on terraformed Mars by Tiago da Silva

Human colony on partially terraformed Mars - a concept artwork by Portuguese fantasy artist Tiago da Silva (Grafik) created for upcoming computer game Terraformers. It is a Mars colonization strategy game currently being developed by indie game developer Asteroid Lab.

Human colony on terraformed Mars by Tiago da Silva for Terraformers game

Monday, June 14, 2021

Starman waiting to board a Starship flight

Picture of the Day 14/06/2021 - Starman waiting to board a SpaceX's Starship flight by Swedish space designer Erik Corshammar (Erc X). More of his art here.

Starman waiting to board a SpaceX Starship flight by Erik Corshammar

Friday, May 28, 2021

Martian city wall by Jon Hrubesch

Gigantic wall of a futuristic city on partly terraformed Mars by American digital painter Jon Hrubesch. More of his sci-fi art here.

Martian city wall by Jon Hrubesch
Closeup of the rooftop gardens. Mars is terraformed to the level where water can be in liquid state and trees can grow in open atmosphere.
Rooftop gardens in a Martian city by Jon Hrubesch

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Village on partly terraformed Mars by Nuno Fontarra

Eventually Mars won't be only domed cities and underground bunkers. It will be a live planet with towns and villages.

Picture of the Day 23/05/2021 - a view of what could be a village on a partly terraformed Mars by Portuguese architect Nuno Fontarra.

Village on partly terraformed Mars by Nuno Fontarra

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Lunar scenes in season 2 of "For All Mankind" alternate history TV series

Season 2 really kicked up the space race on Lunar surface in For All Mankind alternate history sci-fi TV series exploring the idea of never ending space race if Soviets would have beaten US in the race for the Moon. In season 1, depicting the events in alternate 1969 to 1974, both Soviets and US start building their separate bases at the rim of Shackleton Crater near the lunar South pole. In season 2, depicting the alternate 1983, both bases have been expanded and the superpowers compete for resources on the Lunar surface. The Cold War is very close to becoming a hot one.

The intention of the show is to jump about a decade further into the increasingly diverging reality of the show each season. The final scene of season 2 hints Mars will be the central stage in season 3. We are eagerly waiting to see how the authors of the show will have imagined humanity's journey to Mars in their alternate reality. The filming of season 3 has already started.
Jamestown US Moon base in 1983:
Jamestown US Moon base in season 2 of 'For All Mankind'

Jamestown US Moon base in season 2 of 'For All Mankind'

Jamestown US Moon base in season 2 of 'For All Mankind'
US mining site at Jamestown base:
Jamestown US Moon base mining site in season 2 of 'For All Mankind'
Overview of the Jamestown base:
Overview of Jamestown US Moon base in season 2 of 'For All Mankind'
One of Jamestown's landing pads:
Jamestown US Moon base landing pad in season 2 of 'For All Mankind'

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

SpaceX successfully lands Starship SN15 test vehicle!

Today SpaceX for the first time successfully landed a Starship test vehicle - Starship SN15. In four previous attempts since December 2020 Starship test vehicles successfully performed launch and "skydiver" belly flop maneuver but exploded during the landing attempt (in case of SN8, SN9 and SN11) or soon after (SN10). Here is full footage of today's flight from SpaceX's official livestream.

Starship is the second (spacecraft) stage of the fully reusable two-stage super heavy-lift launch vehicle currently developed by leading NewSpace company SpaceX. The main purpose of building such a large rocket with more than double the power of Saturn V is to enable the colonization of Mars. But Starship will be capable to do a lot of different tasks – to place satellites or space stations in orbit, ferry passengers to space stations or the Moon and even ferry passengers or cargo between any destinations on Earth within an hour.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Elon Musk arrives to Mars Base Alpha

Who will guess the year? SpaceX's CEO and chief designer Elon Musk finally arrives to the spaceport of Mars Base Alpha by American comics artist Eli Burton, creator of The Adventures of Starman.

Elon Musk arrives to Mars Base Alpha by RealLifeStarman

Thursday, April 29, 2021

SpaceX Starship interior concept for 20 to 40 passengers by Paul King

British interior architect / designer Paul King has created his detailed concept of SpaceX's Starship interior layout for 20 (one shift) to 40 (two shifts sharing the same crew pods) passengers. Concept divides the pressurized living space into six 2.5m high levels (here shown from top to bottom).

SpaceX Starship interior concept by Paul King
Level 6 - Flight deck
SpaceX Starship interior concept by Paul King - Level 6 - Flight deck
Level 5 - Crew mess hall
SpaceX Starship interior concept by Paul King - Level 5 - Crew mess hall

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

SpaceX Mars Base Alpha in 4K UHD quality

When Elon Musk gave his 2nd annual presentation of the Starship architecture (then called BFR or Big Falcon Rocket) in September 2017, the presentation contained an animation of Mars Base Alpha buildup. Granted, the representation looks more like Sim City on Mars with generic buildings in octagonal pattern, but it's the best visual overview of Mars Base Alpha buildup SpaceX has officially provided yet. Here are images from that animation in 4K UHD quality we haven't seen been posted anywhere else.
Closeup of Mars Base Alpha:
SpaceX's Mars Base Alpha
Buildup of Mars Base Alpha
1st stage - initial base:
SpaceX's Mars Base Alpha - 1st stage - initial base
Click HERE for 4K UHD resolution
2nd stage - mid-sized base:
SpaceX's Mars Base Alpha - 2nd stage - mid-sized base
Click HERE for 4K UHD resolution

Friday, April 16, 2021

NASA selects SpaceX Lunar Starship to return humans to the Moon

Today NASA announced it has selected SpaceX "to continue development of the first commercial human lander that will safely carry the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface" as part of the Artemis program. A year ago it was announced three contenders were selected to compete for this mission - SpaceX, Blue Origin's led "National Team" and Dynetics - and SpaceX revealed it is working for a lunar optimized Starship. Now we know SpaceX's proposal has won the race. In a milestone-based fixed-price contract SpaceX will be able to receive $2.89 billion to develop the Lunar Starship. The year when SpaceX needs to land humans back to the Moon is not specified yet.

In addition to today's announcement, NASA shared latest official render of SpaceX's Lunar Starship which slightly differs from last year's version:
SpaceX Lunar Starship selected by NASA for Artemis program (v.2021)

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Brutalist architecture in Martian science fiction

Brutalism is an architectural style that emerged in the 1950s and grew out of the early-20th century modernist movement. Brutalist buildings are characterized by their massive, monolithic and "blocky" appearance with a rigid geometric style, large-scale use of poured concrete and a predominantly monochrome color palette. The style was popular in 1960s and 1970s in the West and well into 1980s in communist countries and Latin America.

As Brutalism started with an ethos of social utopianism but ended with associations of being cold, inhuman and totalitarian, no wonder it is the most dominant architectural style in dystopian fiction. But it is present also in general science fiction when envisioning a city in future.

One of the flaws of most Brutalist buildings is associated with weather effects on raw concrete, especially in wet and cold climate. Thus, despite being massive and seemingly long-lasting, most of Brutalist buildings are in poor condition today. But it's not a concern on Mars with its dry climate preserving rocks for billions of years. That is one of the reasons movies, TV series, games and art portraying human colonies and bases on Mars is filled with buildings in Brutalist style. Although the truest reason could be that Brutalist architecture with its simple shapes and monochrome colors can be easily reproduced in art, computer graphics and film sets :)

Here are some examples of Brutalist architecture in movies, TV series, video games and art set on Mars:

In movies and TV series

One of the most famous Martian movies - Total Recall (1990) - has some of the purest examples of Brutalist architecture, although most of them in scenes on Earth (filmed in Mexico City):
Brutalist architecture in Total Recall (1990) - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Brutalist architecture in Total Recall (1990)

Brutalist architecture in Total Recall (1990)

Brutalist architecture in Total Recall (1990)