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ISEC to become Mars discovery lab

A general view of ISEC on Aug. 31, 2017. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

In a first-of-its-kind move, Northeastern is converting the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex into a cutting-edge Mars discovery lab.

Starting this fall, ISEC’s entire interior will be converted to include technology that can withstand the harsh Martian atmosphere. The exterior will be retrofitted with steel alloy to protect researchers and explorers inside from the dangerous exit and re-entry of the Earth’s own atmosphere.

Not only is the move a giant leap toward building a human civilization on the Red Planet, but it could also open the fuselage door to future research partnerships—perhaps even with SpaceX, which was created to enable humans to become a spacefaring civilization and a multi-planet species by building a self-sustaining city on Mars. Elon Musk, its founder and CEO, announced in a press release that Northeastern, with its dedication to innovation, is a natural partner to advance a Mars mission.

The move is also a chance for Northeastern to introduce ISEC—a use-inspired research facility that inspires the sort of interdisciplinary collaboration at the university’s core—to an interplanetary audience. The university’s current work in robotics, artificial intelligence, computer science, and engineering positions it to be a leader in the planned Mars civilization.

“There are absolutely plans for a co-op on Mars,” said Buzz Alders, vice provost for the Advancement of Interplanetary Collaboration. “What we’re doing here is taking the Northeastern model to new heights. Literally.”

This article is part of Northeastern’s 2018 April Fools’ Day coverage.