The first colonists will probably be explorers from Earth who live in a habitat on the surface. When they go outside, they use spacesuits or a covered rover, like a motorhome, to protect themselves from the harsh environment. They grow their food in a garden sealed off from the thin, cold Martian atmosphere by plastic sheeting.

The habitat is small and crowded, with no interior space wasted, because of the amount of energy per pound that it took to transport the metal cylinder from Earth. It looks like a silver can. Attached to the habitat, the garden stretches out within its plastic tent, pressurized and heated for rows of vegetables to grow. The colonists walk along the rows to tend the plants, with their spacesuits on and helmets nearby for safety, in case of a puncture in the thin walls.

It would take only moments for an exposed human’s blood to boil in the open on Mars.

At dinnertime, the colonists sit around their only table, in the common room, to enjoy meals of fresh veggies and reconstituted dishes of other foods brought from their home planet.  They watch the news, movies, and sporting events broadcast from Earth, but delayed several minutes, on a big screen above the table. After a quick cleanup, they activate the lighted tabletop, which gives them access to their computers and video games.

Later they watch personal videos and read messages from family and friends on smaller screens in their tiny sleeping rooms.
Throughout the evening, everyone takes a turn in the small exercise room to keep in shape for the grueling work of surviving on the Red Planet.