After 6 months of travel, the Mars Surface Habitat (called simply the “hab”) begins to aerobrake into Low Mars Orbit. From there, it will descend into the atmosphere and land on the surface with it’s crew of 6 astronauts. Already on the surface is the Mars Ascent Vehicle, or MAV, which has spent the last 2 years producing methane/oxygen rocket fuel. When the mission is over, the MAV launches and rendezvouses with the Earth Return Vehicle waiting in Mars Orbit, sent up after the MAV was launched. Also on the surface is an unoccupied hab filled with extra supplies and air. Both habs come equipped with a pressurized surface rover and inflatable greenhouses.
What determines whether an environment is habitable or not? Is Colorado habitable? We are tropical animals. Were not naturally adapted to live in Colorado. No one could survive an single winter night in Colorado without technology such as clothing, housing, an efficient use of fire. We invented our way into a people that could colonize such hostile environments.