Futurtopia#6 -🚀 How will we colonize on Mars? 🚀 👨🚀👩🚀
Once we figure out how to efficiently get people and supplies to Mars what do we do next? How do we survive the very hostile planet with its lack of air pressure, incredibly cold temperatures and its abundant radiation from space and its toxic soils? What would surviving and starting a colony on this desolate planet even look like? Should we even try to complete this gigantic task?
Why should we go to Mars?
There are plenty of good reasons why we should go to Mars. First off let's start off with the more gloomy reason for going to Mars. Simply if we don't start a colony on Mars we will all DIE! That might seem like a bit much. Of course the human race will likely be just fine tomorrow but that was likely what the dinosaurs also thought before they were wiped out by a gigantic asteroid. We on the other hand have the ability to try to spread to other planets. If we were to go to Mars we could basically create a copy of the human race but on another planet. This would allow us to increase the odds of our survival as a species.
Another reason for going to Mars is to reap the benefits of new technologies which will undoubtedly be created. By going to space and the moon we have created many technologies which have helped improve the quality of life on earth. As a british doctor Alexander Kumar once said "Only by pushing mankind to its limits, to the bottoms of the ocean and into space, will we make discoveries in science and technology that can be adapted to improve life on Earth.". Some examples of technologies which resulted from space travel would be Cochlear Implants, Lifeshears, Firefighter Gearand many more which are listed here and here. Going to Mars will create many new technologies which will benefit society.
-First time i've seen this meme lol-
A third reason for going to Mars would be to find life on another planet. Not too long ago we found strong evidence for flowing water on Mars. We however don't yet know if the water is too salty to support terrestrial life forms. In order to test the water or even examine it for life we need to be able to get to it. Currently our rovers on Mars can not dig deep enough to do this therefore the best chance we have of finding life on Mars is to send people to the planet.
Problems with going to Mars?
There are many problems we would have to overcome in order to go to Mars. The first and one of the big things we would have to overcome is how expensive it would be to colonize Mars. The main reasons going to Mars are even space for that matter is so expensive is because of the cost of space engines and the fact that rockets can not be reused. Spacex specifically Elon Musk is currently trying to solve that issue.
One other major problem of going to Mars is radiation. Radiation on the surface of Mars is more than twice the one experienced at the International Space Station. This will likely shorten the lives of Mars colonists and be the death of most them if we don't find a way to protect them from such radiation.
How might we colonize Mars?
In order to colonize Mars we would have to create pressurized and heated habitats for the astronauts we send over. Unless we figure out how to make going to Mars cheaper we won't be able to build on its surface right away. There is another option though which is more viable and it involves using habitats which come partly prebuilt. These prebuilt habits would be the caverns which can already be found on Mars. These caverns will allow us to easily make temporary makeshift habitats underground during the early beginnings of our colonization of Mars. We could seal of a cavern and start the process of making it breathable inside. This could be easily be done by pumping in CO2 and also growing plants to produce oxygen. Caverns would give the astronauts plenty of room to work and to build up the beginnings of a colony.
The astronauts on Mars would have to grow their own food to make the colony self sustainable. At first they will likely grow food underground using artificial lights. The knowledge we gain from vertical farming will help us improve our ability to grow food in space and on Mars which will make this possible. Recently we've been testing our ability to grow food in space in fact not to long ago we grew lettuce on ISS. We would also need to set up a way to extract water from deep underground to hydrate the colony and make growing plants possible. The water also can be easily recycled the same way it's recycled on the ISS.
"There is an entire closed-loop system onboard the ISS dedicated to water. First, Astronaut wastewater is captured, such as urine, sweat, or even the moisture from their breath. Then impurities and contaminants are filtered out of the water. The final product is potable water that can be used to rehydrate food, bathe, or drink. Repeat. The system sounds disgusting, but recycled water on the ISS is cleaner than what most Earthlings drink." Source
How it works
Once we have enough material built up on Mars the astronauts living there can start building a surface settlement. We wouldn't even need to ship building material from Earth to Mars to do this. Recently a group of engineers figured out that it's possible to press simulated Mars soil into very hard bricks. We would easily be able to use the soil on Mars to create concrete habitats on Mars' surface using this technique if it works on actual martian soil.
Are you excited to see a colony on Mars? Would you want to live on Mars or even help start a colony on Mars? What do you hope to see happen in our journey of colonizing another planet?
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