Humans on Mars Initiative

  • Mars

    Humans on Mars

    Pathways to a long-term sustainable exploration

  • Portrait of Lucio Colombi Ciacchi.

    Lucio Colombi Ciacchi

    “Learning how to produce metals and other materials on Mars will promote a transition from fire-driven to electricity-driven and CO₂-emission-free materials engineering for the first time ever.”

  • Kurosch Rezwan working in the laboratory.

    Kurosch Rezwan

    “Thinking the unthinkable is what drives me. Mars is the perfect place for that.”

  • Researcher Anastasyia Tönjes at work.

    Anastasiya Tönjes

    “Another planet means other materials. For me, as a materials scientist, it is a big challenge. With ‘Humans on Mars‘ I can explore the future today.”

  • Sven Kerzenmacher working on an experiment.

    Sven Kerzenmacher

    “Martian reality will force us to find radically new approaches in coping with scarcity and foster resource efficiency. This mindset will also help shaping sustainable life on Earth.”

  • Katharina Brinkert at work.

    Katharina Brinkert

    “The exploration of space and protection of Earth go hand-in hand: the complementary approach of the Martian Mindset shows us how much space and Earth science can learn and benefit from each other.”

  • Cyprien Verseux

    “The Humans on Mars Initiative is an exciting opportunity to combine my expertise in space biology with that of others in fields far apart – and ultimately, to help make Mars exploration sustainable.”

  • Lutz Mädler

    “The Humans on Mars Mindset requires an engineering vision into a world of unknowns and constrains - not far from what we have on earth, but more extreme and less complex at the same time.”

  • Frank Kirchner next to a robot on Moon like surface

    Frank Kirchner

    „Humans on Mars tackles an extremely important challenge with respect to robotics research, it has the potential to achieve mayor breakthrough towards robots that are fit for everyday life.“

  • Daniel Meyer

    Daniel Meyer

    “The unique boundary conditions on Mars require to re-think manufacturing in a multi-disciplinary approach which will lead to exciting developments also applicable to the challenges on Earth.”

  • Researcher Christiane Heinecke.

    Christiane Heinicke

    "We set out to find ground-breakingly new answers to sustaining humans on Mars. I love the interdisciplinary challenge and the inevitable implications for our life on Earth."

  • Professor Kirsten Tracht at work.

    Kirsten Tracht

    "Planning for Mars habitats will enable a radical new paradigm of producing with sustainability and full circularity as the essential boundary from the beginning of product design and material…

  • Marc Avila, speaker of the initiative Humans on Mars.

    Marc Avila

    "Mars is inhospitable and has extremely limited natural resources. Under the premise of scarcity, our cross-disciplinary team researches how to sustain humans on Mars and applies the lessons learnt to…

Humans on Mars

We investigate pathways toward a sustainable human exploration of Mars in seven projects funded by the State of Bremen. The projects focus on human factors, such as the interactions and communication between humans and human-machine mixed teams, on habitats and life support systems, and on the responsible extraction of local resources for the in-situ production of consumables and spare parts.


News and activities

Grafic of Astronauts on Mars next to solar panels

Bremen Materials Science Clear First Hurdle on the Way to Excellence Funding

"With the Martian perspective, we will rethink the production of materials under the premise of resource scarcity." 'The Martian Mindset: A Scarcity-Driven Engineering Paradigm' has achieved initial success.

MAPEX News| MAPEX Presse|

STEM camp for pupils

Students from Delmenhorst Max-Planck-Gymnasium tried out science in theory and practice at the University of Bremen.

The four guests of the panel discussion with Hanna Lührs.

Panel discussion 'Exploring Space: Human versus Machine'

On September 5, 2022, a panel discussion was held at Universum Bremen, moderated by Hanna Lührs.

Publication highlights

Lara Watermann steht vor einer Präsentation und redet.

Human-AI Teams in a Mars Habitat: The Influence of the Perception of an AI as a Team Member or Tool on Trust and Affect

Lara Watermann, Ksenia Appelganc, Paul Große Maestrup, Saurabh Band, Anna Förster, Christiane Heinicke, Vera Hagemann

AOWI-conference of the German Psychological Society (2023)

The AOWI-conference of the German Psychological Society took place in Kassel from 12th to 15th September, 2023. The…


Integration of a Photobioreactor into the MaMBA Facility as Part of a Human-centered Life Support System

Paul Große Maestrup, Ksenia Appelganc, Saurabh Band, Florian Stechmann, Vera Hagemann, Anna Förster, Cyprien Verseux, Christiane Heinicke

52nd International Conference on Environmental Systems (2023)



Assessment of the technological viability of photoelectrochemical devices for oxygen and fuel production on Moon and Mars

Byron Ross, Sophia Haussener, Katharina Brinkert 

Nature communications  14 (2023), 3141


Human deep space exploration is presented with multiple challenges, such as the reliable, efficient and sustainable operation of life support systems. The…