Innovative undersea station developed to train astronauts for future Mars missions


A team of Danish architects has designed an undersea habitat called UHAB (Underwater Habitat) that aims to simulate the living conditions astronauts may experience on other planets, such as Mars. The UHAB, created by SAGA Space Architects, will provide a unique training experience for up to four astronauts, who will be able to stay in the habitat for over a month at a time.

The structure will be completely airtight and self-sustaining, resembling the habitats that could potentially be built on the moon or Mars in the future. By living in the UHAB, astronauts will gain valuable insight into the physical and psychological challenges of living in confined spaces in extreme environments.

The UHAB is expected to be deployed in European waters by 2026, where it will be available for use by organizations such as the European Space Agency. It will have a spacious floor area of 10 square meters (108 sq ft) and can withstand pressures of over 10 meters (33 ft) underwater. Additionally, the habitat can also be utilized by biologists and oceanographers for research purposes, further expanding its potential applications.

SAGA has already conducted successful tests with a smaller version of the UHAB, accommodating one person for a duration of 48 hours. Sebastian Aristotelis, the co-founder of SAGA, shared insights gained from the tests, stating, “We validated a lot of our ideas and learned things we couldn’t have predicted – such as the fact that thermal insulation, which is a closed cell structure, compresses so significantly at a higher pressure that it tears the interior fabrics apart. We did see some shrinking in our tests, but experiencing it inside was a great intuitive understanding of the forces at play.”

Training simulators are crucial in preparing astronauts for the challenges they may encounter during long-duration space missions. By immersing astronauts in an environment that emulates the conditions they may face on Mars, the UHAB provides a comprehensive training experience that can enhance their effectiveness and safety during future space explorations.

Living and working in space presents unique challenges, including isolation, limited resources, and the need for self-sufficiency. The UHAB will give astronauts a firsthand experience of these challenges, enabling them to develop the necessary skills and resilience to thrive in extraterrestrial habitats. The knowledge gained from these training exercises will be invaluable in planning and executing successful manned missions to Mars.

Furthermore, the UHAB’s potential applications extend beyond astronaut training. By collaborating with biologists and oceanographers, the habitat can facilitate research on marine ecosystems and expand our understanding of the underwater environment. This multidisciplinary approach highlights the versatility of the UHAB and its ability to contribute to scientific advancements in various fields.

In conclusion, the development of the UHAB represents a significant step forward in astronaut training for future Mars missions. Its unique design and capabilities provide astronauts with a realistic experience of living and working in confined and extreme environments. With plans to deploy a larger four-person version by 2026, the UHAB promises to be a vital tool in preparing astronauts for the challenges that lie ahead in space exploration.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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