Skip to main content

This New York Hotel Is Actually a 3D-Printed Mars Habitat

Introducing TERA by AI SpaceFactory – Now on Indiegogo

For travelers seeking the ultimate escape — we’re talking an interplanetary getaway — from the sea of humanity here on Earth, it’s going to be a while. Terraforming Mars is decades away at least and NASA still hasn’t even figured out a way to get us there safely. Until then, the next best thing might be Tera, a luxury habitat situated in one of the most un-Martian destinations on the planet. The best part: Space-loving travelers can pre-book a weekend stay right now.

Tera is a futuristic, eco-conscious, luxury house on the banks of the Hudson River in upstate New York. However, this is no ordinary vacation home. It’s the next iteration of a high-concept, experimental living space designed by AI SpaceFactory. That original design, dubbed Marsha, won NASA’s Centennial Challenge earlier this year. The competition tasked some of the world’s greatest architectural and design minds with creating a sustainable, 3D-printed habitat suitable for life on other planets. To springboard funding for the next generation of the design, the company launched an Indiegogo project to open Tera for nightly, B&B-style stays beginning next year.


From the outside, it’s clear that this isn’t a typical cabin in the woods. Unlike traditional concrete or wooden fabrication, Tera relies on a 3D-printed biopolymer of corn, sugar, and basalt to form much of its structure. The curving, asymmetrical brown cylinder with more than a dozen diamond-shaped windows blends seamlessly into its surroundings. It’s a unique design that appears to pull inspiration equally from insect hives, ultra-modern treehouses, and Star Wars.

Inside, the curved ground floor houses a full bathroom with shower, a food prep area, and a living room with built-in seating that seamlessly flows into an outdoor terrace overlooking acres of pristine forest surrounding the Hudson River. A layered wooden staircase sweeps gently upward to a private second floor. Here, the space is fluid, adapting to the needs of its occupants. It can serve as a sleeping loft, a lounge for gathering, or an eating space.

While a stay at Tera sounds like a bucket-list-worthy overnight vacation in its own right, AI SpaceFactory is using future guest stays to understand better how human beings can live and thrive in such a habitat. According to the Indiegogo project page, “Tera is a living laboratory where feedback and operational data will be used to improve future designs for our future Earth and space habitats. Each Tera will build on the last until we achieve highly autonomous structurally performing human-rated habitats.”


As of early July, the Indiegogo project is nearing its modest $30,000 goal. With about a month remaining, it’s likely to more than surpass that mark. Early bird crowdfunders can pre-book a single weeknight stay for as low as $125, while weekend stays are currently running at $250 per night with a minimum two-night stay. Tera is expected to open its doors in March 2020.

If you’re looking to experience the reality of life on Mars without all the bells and whistles of a swanky hotel room, a thru-hike along the epic, otherworldly Jordan Trail might be the next best thing here on Earth.

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
New Orleans Hotel Offers $15,000 Luxury Stay in Return for the Best Stolen Item
The Roosevelt New Orleans Stolen Matches

Sugar packets and mini shampoo bottles aside, stealing from hotels is rarely encouraged. However, one New Orleans hotel is encouraging light-fingered guests to step out of the shadows for the chance to win a seven-night stay worth more than $15,000.

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, The Roosevelt New Orleans has announced a unique new contest. As part of the 125th Anniversary Giveback Sweepstakes, the hotel is simply asking guests to return anything they’ve previously taken. No questions asked, and no item is too insignificant. Guests have already returned dinner plates from the original Blue Room restaurant, a tablecloth, menus, matchbooks, and invoices from the 1940s. The artifacts will be displayed in a special lobby exhibit over the next few months. Those particularly attached to their scores should note that the hotel has even offered to return the items, provided you ask nicely.

Read more
Magnificent Castle Hotels You Can Actually Spend the Night in
Lisheen Castle

Castles are shaping up to be “the” style of accommodations for upscale travelers in 2019. According to HomeAway, demand is up 55 percent. It might sound like a mode of travel that’s out of reach for most mortal men, but a night or two in a legit castle can be more affordable than you think. Whether you’re looking for the perfect royal digs to live out your kingly fantasies for a weekend or an uber-romantic setting to pop the question to your significant other, these are some of the world’s most luxurious castles you can spend the night in.
Cliveden House

Berkshire, United Kingdom
Ahead of the royal wedding, Meghan Markle stayed the night at Cliveden House. It’s hard to imagine a castle getting a better stamp of approval than from the British royal family. This Relais & Châteaux property is a stunning Italianate castle that sits on nearly 400 acres of impeccably manicured gardens along the banks of the River Thames. Guests are afforded access to a wealth of five-star amenities like luxury treatments at Cliveden Spa, Champagne teatime toasts, and private excursions down the river on a chartered vintage houseboat. It’s all located just 30 miles from downtown London, so you can be close enough to the action while still enjoying privacy away from the commoners. Rates start at 445€ (approximately USD $500) per night.
Castle of Ristonchi

Read more
Travel tips you can’t miss: How to survive a busy airport this holiday season
These tips work. Trust us. We travel a lot.
travel tips busy airport survival guide christmas tree in

The holiday season brings joy, warmth, and the promise of family reunions, but it also ushers in the notorious chaos of airports. Millions of people flood the nation’s airports throughout November and December, resulting in crowded terminals, long security lines, and potential flight delays. All of this can be intimidating, but with the proper travel tips, you can master the art of holiday travel. 

Pack light
Efficient packing is key to enjoying a stress-free airport experience. If you can, try to avoid checking your bags and travel with only a carry-on. This will save you valuable time at the airport as you won’t need to stand in long lines to check your suitcase or wait for your luggage to arrive after your flight. You also won’t need to worry about the airline losing your bag and making your journey even more complicated.

Read more