The UAE Space Agency has announced a unique competition — design a home on Mars. Open to all residents of the UAE, the aim is to encourage research on the natural and climatic conditions of the Red Planet, and allow participants to expand their horizons and unleash their imaginations.

"The UAE Space Agency seeks to attract and train UAE nationals to become leaders in space science and technology, said Dr Khalifa Al Rumaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency. "It also supports scientific research efforts as part of a comprehensive strategic plan aimed at the development of the national space sector in the UAE. This contest falls directly under these support efforts."

The criteria for the home designs state that it must be no less that 500sqm, be able to occupy two people, compatibility with the harsh climate of the Red Planet is a must, the design must take into consideration the gravity, which is 38 per cent of Earth, and arguably the most difficult task of all, construction must be done using the planet's natural resources or materials from the remnants of spacecrafts that will inevitably transport people to Mars.

The winning design will be built and exhibited for the Think Science Awards in March 2016. More details on the competition will be provided by the UAE Space Agency soon. Watch this space!