Swedish furniture giant re-designs a 'mock Mars' habitat in the Utah desert

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One day humanity will be living on Mars or the moon and Swedish furniture giant IKEA has an idea for the way our future Martian homes should look. 

The Mars Desert Research Station is a experiment in the Utah desert allowing scientists to study how humans will live on the Red Planet in future.

IKEA designer Christina Levenborn spent time at the mock Mars habitat two years ago as part of a study on how we will live as homes get smaller. 

Rather than just study the station's design and how people live in a confined space - she came up with a new design to 'maximise space' and promote comfort.

The Mars Desert Research Station is a experiment in the Utah desert allowing scientists to study how humans will live on the Red Planet in future

The Mars Desert Research Station is a experiment in the Utah desert allowing scientists to study how humans will live on the Red Planet in future

The Mars Society run station is a domed cylinder that is about 26ft in diameter and six people teams live there for weeks on end. 

On the lower deck there is a shared lab and a workshop areas. Upstairs there is a kitchen and six very small bunk rooms for sleeping and privacy.  

Ms Levenborn said: 'We tried to work with products for small space living situation that could be arranged in a flexible and multifunctional way. 

'For the habitat, we brought products on wheels for mobile living, stools for seating and table surfaces and stackable chairs for saving space.'

The Mars Society run station is a domed cylinder that is about 26ft in diameter and six people teams live there for weeks on end. They have a shared lab and workshop

The Mars Society run station is a domed cylinder that is about 26ft in diameter and six people teams live there for weeks on end. They have a shared lab and workshop

The hardest part of re-designing the space was working with round walls, especially when it came to updating the kitchen, according to Ms Levenborn

The hardest part of re-designing the space was working with round walls, especially when it came to updating the kitchen, according to Ms Levenborn

It was built in 2001 and so far more than 200 researchers have spent at least a week living in the station as part of a six-person crew. 

'We chose to maximise communal space and minimise private space', said Dr Robert Zubrin, President of the Mars Society.

'Each crew member has a small bunk they can retire to when they want to be alone, but the space they share is fairly large.'

It was built in 2001 and so far more than 200 researchers have spent at least a week living in the station as part of a six-person crew all examining a Martian like living space

It was built in 2001 and so far more than 200 researchers have spent at least a week living in the station as part of a six-person crew all examining a Martian like living space

The IKEA team went back to the station to install a new kitchen designed for the round walls and replace furniture with items designed for small communal living spaces

The IKEA team went back to the station to install a new kitchen designed for the round walls and replace furniture with items designed for small communal living spaces

They are trying to mimic the way living arrangements will work on Mars as closely as possible to study how humans interact with each other and work together.

As part of this study everyone in the station has to be on the same sleep-wake cycle as this maximises the available social space by ensuring people are able to be together to socialise at the same time.

'When you want to be alone, you can

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