NASA has been on the lookout for otherworldly concepts for its 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, and a company from France believes they have an appropriate design. Despite the stipulation that only American companies can participate, Fabulous is pitching a partially underground bubble home that can be printed on Martian soil. Actually, the design uses Martian soil as the raw material for the printing process, making the construction intriguingly sustainable.

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The Sfero house, while round in its entirety, looks like a bubble upon the surface of Mars in its rendering. The imagery is appropriate, seeing as the concept would use water melted from permafrost as a radiation barrier between the two shells of the structure which form the outer wall. Construction would begin by drilling a central rod into the terrain, with two robotic arms to harvest both the permafrost and iron oxide particles to be used as the base for the 3D printing process.

Related: MIT study shows Mars One colony is dangerously unsustainable

The Fabulous team has identified Hawaii and the Mojave desert as prime locations to test out the concept and Mars’ Gale crater as the preferred spot for the real thing. The Sfero house would include two floors: a top floor devoted to an indoor garden and workspaces, and the lower floors for sleeping quarters, each connected by a spiral staircase. Would the Sfero bubble house be suitable for a stay on Mars, or would you hope for something more spacious?

+ Fabulous

Via Dezeen

Images via Fabulous