Exploration Architecture

Mars Projects

Mars research development projects within XArc focus on 3D construction printing of habitats. Our HexHab and ArcHab concepts for Mars habitation incorporate in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and autonomous construction techniques, while also investigating outfitting of secondary stuctures and interior layouts.


The hexagon is a common and prevalent geometry of nature. Our HexHab design takes its que from nature and relies on the simplicity and versatility of this geometric shape which is grounded in functionality for the realities of autonomously constructing in-situ shelters for human habitation on distant worlds.


To maximize internal volume, HexHab begins with a hexagonal footprint intersected with a dome to produce three levels of habitable volume area to accommodate a crew of four. The large curved sweeps of the hexagonal edges and domed ceiling allows for an even distribution of internal pressurized gas stress. In its current iteration, the habitable volume area provides 140 m2 of living space.




The ArcHab is a departure from traditional planetary habitat design using a basic form factor as a core shell to accommodate a variety of outfitting options. The sweeping esthetic curves of the ArcHab shape serve a purposeful function. The thickness of the arc provides robust radiation protection alleviating the need to bury the habitable volume, while at the same time provides added shelter from the environment for vehicles, and activities related to outdoor maintenance, storage, and handling of materials. 

The spherical shape of the habitable area offers the most efficient use of volume for uniform for distribution of gases for pressurization, and offers two floor levels of living space. Taken together, the overall shape gives inhabitants a psychological sense of sturdy protection from the extreme variations in Mars weather, with a sense of “living in a cave without having to be in a cave”.


The versatility of the design leads to a number of innovations with the concept of providing a basic core shell to accommodate a variety of options, such as:

  • outfitting options for secondary structures, stowage, and floor plans
  • multiple ingress/egress access points
  • external protected garage and storage areas
  • growth configurations for added volume
  • interconnectivity of ArcHabs for base expansion 
  • adaptability to site locations for accommodating both Moon and Mars planetary terrain features
  • siting orientation to maximize sun incidence angles for solar panels
  • variation in style design including commercialization for terrestrial use