I once went camping in Death Valley and the conditions were so hot I longed for the air conditioned comfort of a Motel 8, or at least a Motel 6. So I can’t imagine camping in the deserts of Mars. That’s just what some students at North Carolina State University have proposed by creating a radiation shielded camping tent for future astronauts.
The students created a 1,900-square-foot inflatable tent which is radiation-proof by layering radiation-shield materials like Demron. Demron is currently used in protective safety suits. In fact, the workers cleaning up Japan’s nuclear Fukishima plant are currently using them. The tent, which can house four to six astronauts, also uses a gold-metalicized film to reflect the UV rays. According to the university, it’s airtight material is made from a “polyurethane substrate” which keeps the air in, allowing for an atmosphere that the astronauts can breathe.