Establishing a human settlement on Mars has been a long-time dream for scientists. Now the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has revealed a plan to build a simulated Martian city in Dubai. Formally known as the Mars Science City, this mock Mars settlement will extend in an area of about 1.9 million square feet and will cost around $140 million to construct.

Artificial colony in the Emirati desert

The Mars Science City project—to be headed by the Government of Dubai—was unveiled on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi. According to the government officials, this artificial colony will be created in the Emirati desert and will feature gigantic domes containing parks, buildings, and other essential infrastructure.

These domes will have all the facilities that a human may need in a relatively isolated environment. There will be special areas for researchers to carry out experiments involving water, food, and energy needs to sustain a human colony on the Red Planet. Scientists will also conduct experiments on different crops in this artificial colony to let astronauts/ human settlers on Mars avoid eating potatoes for years.

Mock city to have special labs

This mock city will also have special laboratories that will simulate Mars’ environment and terrains. A museum will exhibit humans’ achievements in space. The main aim of this museum will be to inspire young citizens to participate in scientific research.

The designers of this simulated colony also plan to use 3D printing technology to print the walls of this museum. Radiation and heat insulation will imitate the ruthless environment of the Red Planet.

The UAE government hasn't yet revealed a timeline for the project, but it is expected that all efforts will be made to complete the project as earliest as possible.

This simulated city will be build as part of the UAE’s "Mars 2117 Strategy" that aims to establish a human base on the Red Planet in coming decades. These bases will be equipped with facilities like inner-city transportation and oxygen supplies and will have a capacity to house up to 600,000 people.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the ruler of Dubai, describes the “Mars 2117 Strategy” as a long-term project that aims to encourage science education in the country and motivate the young people to lead scientific research.

Presently, the UAE scientists are also working to launch a Mars probe by 2020. This probe will orbit the Red Planet for three years and study its atmosphere and the surface in detail. The country also hopes to establish a settlement on Mars within the next 100 years.