Design a Space Colony

This task force gives students the responsibility of designing a space colony and considering what interaction with existing life might look like.

Task Force: Design a Space Colony


NASA has decided to colonize Mars and has put you in charge of designing the colony. Each group will be asked to design a colony that fits the necessary needs and wants of its colonizers. 

Why Are We Doing This?:

This article from Science Alert discusses how many people it would take to colonize Mars. It is up to you now to consider not only how many people you want to start colonizing, but other important factors as well (type of government, interaction with pre-existing life, etc). Your task is to come up with a well-designed space colony!


  1. Come up with a new name for your colony and consider how many people it will take to colonize the area.
  2. Brainstorm how you will interact with existing life in the colony. 
    1. Will your group allow them to continue life as they were before you colonized? 
    2. Will the new colonizers take charge and make decisions for an already existing civilization?
    3. What kind of government will the colony implement?
  3. Outline how you plan to organize buildings, concerns your group has and how they will solve them, and laws you will put into place. 
  4. Think about the possible objections that someone could have and how you would answer them.
    1. Are you planning on changing already existing structures in the colony? What kinds of ethical concerns might arise from that?
  5. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your colony takes a variety of things into consideration and is an ideal approach to colonizing an area!

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of characteristics for your colony. It’s better to come up with a few that you feel most confident defending.
  • You don’t have to worry about answering all possible objections, but you should have some defense of why you think your reasons are more important.
  • Consider how you plan to approach crime, immigration, positions of power (what kind of government?), etc in your colony.
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