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 other planets in our solar system and has put you in charge of designing the colony. Each group will be asked to design a colony that fits the needs and wants of its colonizers. 

Why Are We Doing This?

For decades, humans have had a rising curiosity regarding space exploration and what is yet to be discovered. This curiosity has also encouraged conversations about the potential for humans to live in various unexplored areas. Here we ask you to try and design a space colony of your choice while factoring in important priorities and concerns that may arise.


  1. Check out this article on space colonization. Consider reading about requirements, materials, energy, transportation, space access, and more.
  2. Then, try to design a space colony of your choice in Mars, Mercury, Venus or gas giants.
    1. Come up with a name for your colony 
    2. Consider how many people it will take to colonize the area.
    3. Describe how you plan to organize buildings, concerns your group has, and how they will solve them, laws you will put into place, and more! 
    4. Now, imagine that there is life on the planet already. Explain how you will interact with existing life in the colony. 
      1. Would this change the design of your colony at all, or the rules you have put in place? 
      2. Will you allow them to continue life as they were before colonization? Will the new colonizers take charge and make decisions for an already existing civilization?
  3. Think about the possible objections that someone could have and how you would answer them.
  4. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your designed colony lays out a practical and effective plan for space colonization!

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.