Subscribe to receive SETI Institute news weekly in your inbox.

A Future Made of Mars

A Future Made of Mars

Made of Mars will begin by learning to build with volcanic basalt. Basalt is the most common material on Mars and is widespread throughout Earth and much of the solar system...

Made of Mars artist's view of researchers collecting basaltic rock in Mars.

John Roma (J.R.) Skok, PhD, principal investigator at the SETI Institute, is working to put the journey to Mars in your hands.

October 15th, 2018 - Mountain View - We are in a golden age of space exploration, where nations and corporations are sending robots throughout our solar system with plans for people to soon follow. However, the journey to Mars and space beyond must be a journey for all of humanity. To solve the challenges of becoming a multi-planetary species we must work together to create the vision and innovation to survive and thrive beyond Earth while building a more sustainable future for life right here.

Towards this goal, I have founded the company, Made of Mars, to develop the technology we need to build beyond Earth. Made of Mars is working to transform the materials and minerals that we know are on the Moon, Mars and asteroids throughout our solar system into products that we can use today. This innovation will be used to build the space civilization of tomorrow.

Made of Mars will begin by learning to build with volcanic basalt. Basalt is the same lava rock that forms Hawaii, Iceland and countless volcanoes around Earth. Basalt is the most common material on Mars and is widespread throughout Earth and much of the solar system. Starting with these rocks, basalt is mined, re-melted, and pulled into thin threads which are then woven into fabrics. Made of Mars is transforming these basalt fabrics into products you can use today. The first basalt product line has been launched on Kickstarter where these volcanic rocks will be highlighted through a series of wallets and computer cases. These simple products will showcase the material and process. Made of Mars aims to encourage development of this material, setting the stage for space necessities to eventually be built from basalt, from suits to spaceships.

Building for a future beyond Earth does not mean abandoning our planet. We have always been a species of explorers and migrants, but remain nostalgic for our roots. Learning to build with basalt will both be key for a future beyond Earth and our future on it. Our technological advancements have improved the lives of billions while putting a terrible strain on the resources and environments of Earth. Basalt may be a solution toward sustaining our home planet. It is one of the most abundant and widespread resources on Earth. Basalt is continuously erupting on the surface and requires no chemicals to process. Unlike cotton, it does not compete with food production. Unlike synthetics, it does not come from fossil fuels. After it is used, basalt can be remelted and reused. Discarded basalt would naturally weather and recycle back to new volcanoes, as is the natural cycle of basalt. In a future that includes near-Earth asteroid mining, basalt would be an abundant resource with minimal environmental impact to Earth. Building with basalt is a key step toward a future on, and beyond Earth.

Getting to Mars and beyond will be one of the most difficult journeys we will have ever embarked on. It will require advancements in propulsion, medicine, life support and many other technologies that we are just beginning to understand. These innovations will require a fundamental shift in how we explore. No single nation or company can solve all of these alone. Made of Mars is working hard on two key challenges; how to build from the materials beyond Earth and how to empower everyone to be part of the Journey.

Space exploration has always had an accessibility problem. From the beginning it has been the exclusive realm of literal rocket scientists. Made of Mars wants to put this journey into your hands with products made from the materials that we will find on Mars. With this plan, each purchase, review and suggestion will get us closer to developing the technology we will need to build beyond Earth. No longer will space be so far away in distance or time, as the exploration of space will be a journey that you will drive.

Together we can build a future Made of Mars.

About the SETI Institute

Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary research and education organization whose mission is to lead humanity’s quest to understand the origins and prevalence of life and intelligence in the Universe and to share that knowledge with the world. Our research encompasses the physical and biological sciences and leverages expertise in data analytics, machine learning and advanced signal detection technologies. The SETI Institute is a distinguished research partner for industry, academia and government agencies, including NASA and NSF.

Contact information

John Roma (J.R.) Skok, Ph.D 
Principal Investigator
SETI Institute
189 Bernardo Ave., Suite 200
Mountain View, CA 94043   

Made of Mars
Founder, CEO

Recent Articles