It’s impossible to predict how cutting-edge technologies used todevelop manned missions to Mars and habitats on Mars will benefit other fieldslike medicine or agriculture. But we’ll figure that out only by “pushinghumankind to its limits” and boldy going where we’ve never been before. Nowknowing that humans are capable of being able to colonize Mars, NASA now has tofigure out how to get humans there and how to safely land on the planet. Within the next decade Nasa will finally have aspacecraft capable of making the journey to Mars. These rockets will have to beable to travel for a full nine months in order to reach the Red Planet. Duringthe journey that is being planned for the future, astronauts would be subjectto exposure of radiation, which would obviously require them to be protected.
Thecosmic radiation and solar wind causes DNA damage, which would increase therisk of cancer by a significant amount. Mars has a surface gravity that is 0.38times that of Earth, and the density of its atmosphere is about 0.6 percent ofthat on Earth.
The relatively strong gravity make it difficult to land heavy spacecraft’s,yet the atmosphere is too thin for aerodynamic effects to be of much help in landinga large vehicle on the planet. Landing piloted missions on the Red Planet wouldrequire braking and landing systems completely different from anything that is beingused now to land spacecraft with a crew on the Moon or any robotic mission onMars. The colonization of Mars willrequire a huge variety of equipment, both equipment to directly provideservices to the humans on Mars and production equipment in order to produce food, propellant, water, energy, andbreathable oxygen to support the human colonization.
Required equipment will include,According to Elon Musk, “even at a million people working on Marsyou’re assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because youwould need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars… You would need tomine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficultenvironment than Earth.” In fact, there is even a project that is already on its waytowards getting humans to Mars within the next decade, and this project is knownas “Mars One,” and they’ve been gradually narrowing down the humans theythink would be best suitable to help establish a permanent settlement on the planet.
Now that the 100 humans that have been selected to go to the planet in the MarsOne project, they now have to demonstrate that they can work effectively as ateam, so the fourth round will consist of challenges designed totest the groups willingness to deal with the struggles of living on Mars. Afterthis, the remaining people will be split into groups of four which will receivetraining in a replica base on Earth. The final group will consist of 24cosmonauts who will become employees of Mars One, helping the project preparefor colonization in 2025.Anotherreason on why putting humans on Mars is because of the new discoveries that canbe made from being on the planet. Humans alone can speed up the process ofmaking discoveries because comparing humans to robots, they make discoveries10,000 times faster.
While these discoveries can be made by humans on the redplanet, these “discoveries” that can be adapted to improve life on Earth. Asthere can be many reasons on why is would be beneficial to colonize Mars andcontinue the survival of our species, one major reason for why any country thathave the ability to even work on these types of projects will demonstratepolitical and economic leadership. Aldrin states “In my opinion, there is nomore convincing way to demonstrate American leadership for the remainder ofthis century than to commit to a permanent presence on Mars”, what he is tryingto state here is that it would be best for the United States as a nation tocomplete this mission first as it will show leadership. Whoever manages tocomplete the mission to colonize Mars first will demonstrate their nationspolitical and economic leadership.
Everyone wants to be the first to accomplishsomething before someone else like the Race to Space. Just accomplishing themission of sending humans to Mars will also ensure the “survival” of ourspecies. On earth, 165 million years ago dinosaurs roamed the earth and now theonly thing that remains of them are their fossilized remains, that is because ofan asteroid that impacted earth and wiped them all out. There have been manyrumors of this happening in the next millions of years, so colonizing marswould not only be an accomplishment, but it will save the human species. Thesurface of Mars will be very difficult for humans to get adjusted to. Thetemperature on Mars range from an extreme -195 degrees F to 70 degrees F. Thisis a scary thought to someone that goes to Mars because of how cold it can get.
They may also get infected with a Martian virus that is unknown to the humanbody. This will just have to be one of the many risks that we will have to takeif will would want to begin life on another planet. Marsis about .5 AU away from Earth. This great distance from Earth is just one ofthe problems that NASA is facing for further future missions to Mars.
There aremany difficulties for this journey to mars and noting about planning thesemissions will be easy to accomplish for NASA. To start off, the trip to Marswill require astronauts to bring basically all of their supplies for thecomplete round trip. One proposal that NASA has made is to send pre-missions toMars with supplies and fuel for the astronauts return mission back to earth.Another idea that was purposed by Buzz Aldrin, in his book Mission to Mars,is to establish a permanent trade route with Mars by using an orbital path thatAldrin has called the Aldrin orbit. This could make supplies ready andavailable to the future visitors of Mars. Putting the first humans on Mars willbe a spectacular accomplishment not only by the country who makes this happen,but for humanity.
This will attract the interest of future scientist andengineers just like the first moon landing did. The big difference of this planwill be that instead of going to Mars just to say we did it first, we willinstead be going to explore a future home humans. Getting to Mars will prove thathumanity has overcame a challenge. As much as humans know about space andspecifically planet Mars itself, living on it will require us to know muchmore. Mars is basically considered a foreign land at this point to livingthings.
Theextraction of usable, drinkable water from the planets surface is apparentlyfeasible and the minerals contained in this water can apparently sustain life potentiallyallowing for the growth of planets just like on earth. Thiswould make it much easier for robots/technology operated by humans to set upthe foundation for a base for a possible human arrival in the future. Water isa very important part of agriculture and also when it comes to survival. Thewater on Mars compared to the water on earth is a little different from eachother. If we tried using the polar ice caps, we would have to do a lot ofthings in order to make it worth our time. The location of the ice caps is inan area with “permafrost.” This means that the water remains frozen unless wedo something to it in order for it to melt.
The bad part is that we don’t knowwhat the water on the surface is actually like once melt or even frozen. Whenwe get the contained water melted, we will then have to test it and see what isneeded to make the water useful in order to sustain human life. We believe thatif we follow liquid water then there is a good chance that life can be sustainon the planet. Frozen water also lies under the surface of Mars. Scientistsdiscovered ice as large as two of the United States biggest states,Texas and California combined in the region between the north pole and theequator of Mars. The water underneath the soil is said to be melted already,but there are many questions that scientists have about that water also. OnJuly 20, 1969 the first men set foot on the moon’s surface. This historicalevent set forth a path for future space exploration further out into space.
Allof the United States was excited for the space race between the Russians andthe Americans. This was a race to show who had the most intelligence and driveto make the impossible happen which was land a human being on the moon. NASAdecided to allow private companies to design, build, and launch their owncraft. It is time again to bring the excitement that was missing back into thespace program and declare a time line for missions to Mars and eventuallycolonizing Mars.
All Earth’s population can do now is just wait for this eventto take place because of the benefits that will come towards their way. Amongextraterrestrial bodies in our solar system, Mars is singular in that itpossesses all the raw materials that is necessary to support not only life, buta new branch of human civilization on its planet.