Against a dusty and otherworldly landscape, science-fiction artist Stephan Martiniere posits that ships of a grand scale will be needed to create a living, working colony on Mars. Martiniere’s craft evokes the space shuttle to spark nostalgia, which he mixes with considered conjecture about the technology needed to support those ships, and how their spaceports might be built efficiently into the landscape. Martiniere says when building environments like this one, 100 or 150 years out is a sweet spot: nothing is set in stone, but it’s not so far away that artists can’t imagine it. And the artists’ ideas help people dream, he says: “Science needs to catch the imagination, and artists are free to do that—to convey the ‘what if,’ the beauty, and the magic.”
This article was originally published in the March/April 2016 issue of Popular Science.