mars curiosity rover msl dust storm natural color june 2018 nasa jpl caltech msss kevin m gill 29011748758_fb422ec1dd_kMars is an inhospitable place.NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill (CC BY 2.0)

NASA is soliciting expert designs for a potential manned mission to Mars — and beyond.

As part of the space agency’s $2.5 million Centennial Challenge, teams of designers, engineers, and architects from across the US submitted designs for an astronaut habitat that could be 3D-printed and deployed to far-flung destinations like the Red Planet or the moon. 

The finalists of the third phase of the competition were selected earlier this month by a number of panelists from NASA, academia, and private space companies.

Creating a reliable, user-friendly life support system will be critical for any successful manned missions to Mars, NASA said in the announcement

In phase three, the teams had to design miniature versions of their proposed extraterrestrial habitats — one-third the size of the real thing — as well as a virtual rendering of the habitat as well as all the life-support systems the habitat will contain.

As part of the competition, the judges wanted to see an emphasis on “indigenous” building materials or the things that astronauts and rovers may find on the moon or Mars itself. 

“They are not just designing structures, they are designing habitats that will allow our space explorers to live and work on other planets,” Monsi Roman, the program manager for NASA’s Centennial Challenge said. “We are excited to see their designs come to life as the competition moves forward.”

The five teams each split the $100,000 pot, with the most money going towards the top two finishers.

Check out the winning designs below: