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

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.

tera habitat mars ai spacefactory new york hotel 3d printed v2
Tera/Indiegogo

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.tera habitat mars ai spacefactory new york hotel 3d printed making of

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.”

tera habitat mars ai spacefactory new york hotel models
Tera/Indiegogo

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.

Food & Drink

What is Sous Vide Cooking? Here’s What You Need to Know

Chef Tyson Ho explains what sous vide cooking is and how you can cook the perfect steak in some hot water.
Outdoors

Tent Buying Guide: How to Find the Best Tent for Your Trip

This guide will help you find a good shelter quickly so you can get off the computer and back outside.
Food & Drink

A Comprehensive Guide to Plant-Based Milks and Their Benefits

Need to give up dairy? Here is a breakdown of the different types of plant-based milks and their benefits, including oat, soy, almond, hemp, flax, pea, and more.
Culture

10 Best Crime Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're like the rest of the country, you're probably obsessed with true crime right now. Here are the best documentaries to get your fix.
Outdoors

The Most Jaw-Dropping Natural Swimming Holes in the United States

You don't need to trek to Thailand or South America to find sparkling depths and crystal-clear waters.
Travel

Travel 2,200 Miles on an Extreme, 18-Day Mystery Tour from Tehran to Istanbul

Make sure your travel vaccinations are up to date and get ready for one hell of a ride.
Travel

Norway’s Manshausen Island Resort is a Minimalist Retreat Founded by a Real-Life Explorer

Now that you're getting older, it's time to find a place where you can actually relax. Our choice? Manshausen Island resort in Norway. Yes, it takes 20 hours to get there, but it's so worth it.
Travel

Airstream Brings Back 2 of Its Most Popular and Affordable Travel Trailers

These two Kennedy-era Airstream trailers are among the most popular of all time. Even better? They're price tags aren't too steep.
Travel

Find the Most Unique, Undiscovered Campsites in the U.S. With Hipcamp

Booking the perfect campsite doesn't have to suck anymore.
Travel

12 Most Over-the-Top Hotel Pools for Extravagant Views

From an infinity pool high above Santorini to a two-story waterhole in the rainforests of Bali, these are the best hotel pools across the globe.
Travel

You Need a Vacation: 5 Midwestern Camp-Style Lodges Where You Can Unplug

Believe it or not, rustic woodland getaways still exist. We've pulled together a shortlist of the finest hotels located within some of the country's most beautiful, largely overlooked natural settings.
Travel

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet?
Travel

Travelers Can Now Bring Some CBD Products on Airplanes (Sort of)

Technically, the TSA is cool with it, but like everything the government touches, it's not as simple as it appears.
Travel

What Americans Need to Know Before Traveling to Cuba

Heading to Cuba? Don't be caught unprepared -- here are the essential things every American should know.