This is perhaps one of the most fascinating and iconic quotes of all time. If you think about it, it is a beautiful phrase because it’s true. We could spend (and we should spend!) all the time we have talking about making the earth a better place for humans. But at the end of the day, we would also have to face the fact. That we are not biologically destined to stay on Earth. Actually, we’ll be forced to leave not only the Earth but the Solar System. Because one day our Sun is going to die. That’s why scientists and people all around the world are currently dreaming of leaving.
They are visionary people who escape the ordinary and try to imagine a life on another planet. Maybe in another star’s system. Of course, this is sci-fi. But someone thinks we can do the first small steps in that direction: That’s why today we are going to talk about Mars Colonization. Since the 20th century, there have been several proposed human missions to Mars. But no person has set foot on the planet yet. On Mars’ surface, there are currently landers and rovers that have successfully explored the planetary surface and delivered information about conditions on the ground. Why did we send rovers instead of humans? Why is it so difficult to plan and carry out a human mission to Mars? This is simple to understand.
Mars is just another planet in the solar system, just like Earth. And it has some features that resemble our planet. But also it possesses some characteristics that make it very different from Earth. The similarities we can find are: 1) the martian day is very close in duration to Earth’s day. It lasts about 24 hours, 39 minutes. 2) Mars has an axial tilt of 25.19°, compared to the earth’s axial tilt of 23.44°. As a result. Mars has seasons much like Earth, though on average they last nearly twice as long because the Martian year is about 1.88 Earth years. 3) Observations by NASA and ESA orbiters and landers confirm the presence of water ice on Mars.
But here come the differences that will help us to understand why it’s so hard to prepare a human mission and send it on Mars:1) Mars doesn’t have a magnetosphere. The magnetosphere is actually a layer that protects us, sheltering us from the solar particle events and cosmic rays that could cause harm to our bodies. In fact, the solar wind it’s made of high-energy cosmic rays that could hit us and cause, for example, cancer. The scientist has to find an effective solution to this before sending humans on Mars: we want our astronauts to be safe!2) On Mars, humans couldn’t survive without pressure suits. This is because the Atmospheric pressure is far below the so-called Armstrong limit, at which people can survive without suits. Also, the atmosphere is toxic as most of it consists of carbon dioxide.
This means we first have to be able to convert that kind of molecule into oxygen in order for our mars colons to breathe. 3) Due to the thinness of the atmosphere, the temperature difference between day and night is much larger than on Earth, typically around 70 °C (125 °F). 4)The Martian soil is toxic due to relatively high concentrations of chlorine and associated compounds which are hazardous to all known forms of life. So this is why we haven’t already sent humans to Mars. But scientists are working hard to accomplish this mission as soon as possible. Also, we wish to send humans to Mars and stay to form a colony.
Our greatest desire it’s to colonize Mars. We want to be able to live a sort of “ordinary life” on the red planet. This is, at the moment, far beyond our capabilities. But what if we really colonize mars? Of course, as we said we should learn how to convert molecules into oxygen, and that pretty what perseverance is trying to do right now on the surface of the red planet with its new instrument MOXIE! Also, there’s no fertile soil on Mars to grow food in. That’s why we have to cultivate our crops in a mineral and nutrient solution that requires no soil. However, our colony would only be able to grow about 20% of the food it would need. The rest of it would have to be shipped from Earth in the form of dried meat, for example. Don’t expect fresh food! We’d probably live in inflatable pressurized buildings (or in underground constructions, because radiation levels are two and a half times higher than at the international space station.