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UnderHill Masonry vaults, modelClay model of masonry vault Mars habitat.
The vaults are butted against each other for support. They ould typically be 2 stories high, with an intermediate floor of non-masonry materials such as fiberglass, bamboo, wood, or recycled aluminum from landing craft. They must be covered with 7 to 10 meters of soil (regolith) to hold the internal air pressure. Multiple plastic sheets or other vapor barriers just above the vaults and under the floor would prevent air seepage and catch any air leaking through the 1st barrier.
Note doorways in the parallel walls which support the vaults. The ribs about the walls act as buttresses to support the vaults when pressurized. The curved walls at the end of the vaults are not shown, except at the far left. This design was developed by Bruce Mackenzie around 1987, presented at a Case for Mars conference. This design was included in the novel "Red Mars" by Kim Stanley Robinson who named it "UnderHill".
description TBD

closeup of
Bruce Mackenzie MugShot1Headshot of Bruce Mackenzie, taken at the NSS ISDC 2005 Gala event.
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