Meet the first billboard for Mars

Built with interlocking joints and counter tension it can be assembled by a robot. And it’s carved out of hard anodized aluminium 6082T6 to survive life on the Martian surface – the same techniques NASA use to build the wheels on the Curiosity Rover. Now we just need to get it there.

It can be assembled by a robot

45cm high, 65cm long, and 5cm deep, we’ve made the Mars Billboard as rocket-friendly and Mars-friendly as possible. Designed to be assembled by a clever robot – or an even smarter human – the billboard is made up of 11 individual pieces which assemble and lock into place with an ancient Japanese joinery technique called tsugite (tsoo-gee-teh).

Built with interlocking joints and counter tension

Between the 12th and 19th century tsugite became a pillar of Japanese architecture as nationwide iron shortages forced architects to develop a stunningly creative alternative to metal nails. Instead of screws, nails, welding or glue, tsugite relies solely on interlocking joints and counter tension to produce astonishingly strong structures.

Built with corrosion resistant metal

The Mars Billboard is created with aluminium 6082T6, a corrosion resistant metal often used for high stress engineering applications on Earth, like bridges and cranes.

Hard anodized just like the Curiosity Rover’s wheels

The entire surface of the Mars Billboard is hard anodized to increase its corrosion resistance. Anodization thickens the natural oxide layer on the surface of a metal, creating a strong barrier against the electrochemical reactions which can cause corrosion. And it’s why the wheels on Curiosity Rover were hard anodized before it left Earth for Mars.

It comes with its own custom flight case

The simplicity of the tsugite method means that the billboard can be disassembled and packed up, either for terrestrial or interplanetary transportation. So we’ve built a custom flight case for the billboard to travel in.

Laser cut stainless steel feet

The billboard is designed to grip into the Martian soil with two claw-like feet made from corrosion resistant stainless steel. Each foot is constructed with fourteen 3mm laser cut pieces, and they attach securely to the billboard with a twist and lock mechanism.