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artemis mission: protecting humans in space | 3rd grade+

NASA plans to put humans back on the Moon in 2024. Inspired by the Artemis mission and the complex task of protecting human life in space, design your own human habitat for sustained life on Mars.


NASA’s Artemis Mission will transport humans — including the first woman and the first person of color — back to the Moon in 2024. Artemis plans to set up a sustainable human presence on the Moon. This habitat will be a hub for lunar exploration, but it will also be a test for NASA’s bigger goal — sustaining human life on Mars.

In the harsh environment of space, every aspect of human life must be considered and supported through careful engineering and testing. NASA has developed two innovative new space suits for the Artemis Mission and even issued public challenges to crowd-source new ways to grow food in space and convert carbon dioxide into usable sugars.

Over the next decade, NASA will test these new ideas and technologies in over 25 missions that will hopefully pave our way to sustained human habitats on the Moon and, eventually, Mars.

Check out this animation that explains the Artemis Mission to the Moon.


Humans have not set foot on the Moon in almost 50 years, since 1972. The Artemis Mission plans to change that, and ultimately lay the foundation for putting humans on Mars.

Imagine you are a NASA engineer of the future, and your mission is to design the first human habitat on Mars, with everything needed to support human life. Explore NASA’s guide to Mars to learn about Mars’s climate, terrain, and atmosphere.

  • What will your space settlement look like — both on the inside and outside?
  • What will life on Mars look and feel like in your habitat? What will people do every day?
  • How will your habitat provide food, water, and fresh air for residents?

Need more inspiration? Check out these Mars habitat ideas designed by college students.


After you sketch out your ideas, it’s time to start building! Create a model of your Martian habitat using anything you have available. Consider creating your prototype using cardboard, a sustainable material that is easy to cut and shape, to express your ideas. Check out these videos to help get your cardboard model started.

You can also create a digital model using a modeling software like TinkerCAD or another design software.

Whichever materials you decide to use to create your human habitat for Mars, please send pictures or files of your finished project to We’d love to see all your ideas!