SIMOC [see-mok] – A scalable, interactive model of an off-world community.
SIMOC users are invited to design a Mars habitat that sustains human life through a combination of mechanical and plant-based systems, selecting various combinations of crew quarters, greenhouse, food and plants, energy generation and storage, and mission duration.
Sound simple? Science fiction has made it look too easy with airlocks that never require decompression, food materializing out of thin air, and the recycling of air something that happens off-camera. In the real cosmos, the slightest incongruity in waste management, power production, or CO2 scrubbing can result in catastrophic failure, forcing the abandonment of the habitat, or worse!
SIMOC is a place to experiment, test theories, and learn as we endeavor to become an interplanetary species.
The National Geographic Society hosts SIMOC for use by citizen scientists and classrooms around the world, for free! The educational web interface encourages an exploration of authentic NASA data and iterative engagement of the scientific method. Lesson plans are freely available for grades 5-8 and 9-14, with guidance for both teachers and students. SIMOC was initially funded by Arizona State University, School of Earth and Space Exploration, as an Interplanetary Initiative Pilot Project.