Next Generations Might Live On Mars In Order To Survive
During his TED talk, Journalist Stephen Petranek talked about the possibility of colonizing Mars, and how it would be good for humankind to find alternative options considering climate changes and other factors. He also pointed out that it would be good for the future. Do you know why? You'll be surprised to learn the reasons!
THE FUTURE ON MARS: YES OR NO?
It’s hard to imagine living anywhere else but on Earth, especially because our current technologies would never allow for our survival anywhere but on this planet. However, no modern advancement ever happened without a bit of out-of-the-box thinking and imagination.
Humankind had managed to send a machine to Mars to take pictures, and maybe, in the future, we might be able to do more. In fact, journalist Stephen Petranek used his TED talk to analyze the viability of living on the red planet.
He pointed out that due to our vulnerable selves, and the scarce and ever-dwindling resources of our planet, humans might need to consider moving sooner than expected. However, we should also think ahead and start experimenting while we have options.
We don’t want to find ourselves in a dire situation where there is only one escape that has yet to be explored. It seems that time to colonize outside our green planet is coming, and people are already talking about it.
HOW CAN THIS BE DONE?
As it is right now, the task cannot be more daunting. Mars’ atmosphere is 100 times thinner than Earth’s, and most of it – 96% - is composed of carbon dioxide, unlike our oxygen-full globe. Furthermore, its gravity has less pull than ours, and the average temperature is -81 degrees.
Clearly, no humans can live there at the moment, but that is not all. Many investigation projects have failed to get there in the past. The Russians, Japanese, Chinese, Indians, and Europeans sent out 44 rockets in our history with space travel, and only a third of those have reached the red planet.
Therefore, there is no way to transport a large number of people anywhere outside Earth. How long will it take before we can go to Mars? According to Petranek, humans might be able to accomplish this seemingly impossible task by 2027.
That’s less than ten years from now, and it seems overly ambitious, mainly regarding humankind’s concerns at the moment. Space travel might not be the top priority of the world when we are still trying to face each other.
However, the journalist has estimated this number based on the resolve of Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of SpaceX, a company that announced their plans to settle on Mars several years ago. The business has accomplished a lot in the past decade.
They created the electric car and the Falcon 9 rocket, and it looks like Musk might be able to do much better than just simple technologies for the people. He might actually get a man to Mars by the year 2027, and that’s something everyone should be interested in.
But, of course, it is also important to remember that finding a way to get to Mars is only the first step, and it cannot be done without thinking about what comes next. There are many things humans need to survive. The most important one is oxygen.
Taking oxygen tanks such as astronauts have is not the best solution because they can always run out. We need a sustainable source of oxygen if the plan is to colonize the red planet. Luckily, Mars has something else that is crucially important for human life: water.
The planet has running water, but it is too heavy to bring to Earth. This vital liquid can be found underground, on the surface and in ice as well. Furthermore, Mars’ atmosphere is 100% humid, and the University of Washington has determined that dehumidifiers can be used to get as much as needed.
Additionally, NASA has discovered for people to breathe on Mars thanks to scientist Michael Hecht. It uses a reverse fuel cell that can turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, which should already be implemented on Earth due to the high levels of pollution.
The device was already tested on the red planet thanks to the Mars Rover, and it can keep going, maintaining one person alive forever. Also, it can be increased to support 100 people if necessary. There is only one other problem, then.
MORE ISSUES FOR SURVIVAL
Nutrition is already a problem on this planet, and it will be the most overwhelming task on Mars. Around 15-20% of food can be grown in hydroponics, but the rest needs to be brought from Earth. We also need houses and protection from the elements just like on this planet.
However, the people that go to Mars in the future might be forced to live underground because there is too much solar and cosmic radiation. We call it the red planet for a reason. But, the soil of Mars is perfect for making bricks.
So, people might be able to recreate a lot of what we have here, but the walls would have to be bigger to stop that intense radiation. The final issue is protecting human bodies, and scientist Dava Newman has created a space suit that will also block radiation, protect from the pressure and the cold.
As long as the most basic human needs are met than survival is not so impossible after all. But, survival is not the same as living, and it might take some time, but people could try to recreate our quality of life on the red planet. Humans might be able to turn Mars into a replica of Earth.
ONCE IT’S HOSPITABLE
It will take a lot to warm Mars, but the carbon dioxide on its polar ice caps can be used for that. The journalist proposed on his TED talk that a solar sail can be used a mirror to direct the suns rays toward the poles. Petranek said,
“Ironically, we would be trying to achieve on Mars what we are trying to prevent on earth – a runaway greenhouse effect that would heat the planets overall temperature.”
He also hopes that the planet could be heated after just 20 years. Once the planet reaches higher temperatures, the atmosphere would become thicker, which will help protect from radiation, provide more water, and the possibility of growing food.
The heat will also vaporize water to make it rain naturally, and also for snow. Once the atmosphere is closer to Earth’s, people could take off their special suits. The only problem left would be breathing, but since more carbon dioxide will be released to heat Mars, it might take a lot longer to solve this issue.
Colonizing Mars could be a possibility if we can get through all these hurdles, which may sound simple, but are incredibly hard. The important part is that humans need a “plan B” in case something happens on Earth.
Patronek finished his speech reminding people that when humans landed on the Moon, we were all inspired to believe, and he said,
“We will never be the last of our kind.”
We truly hope that’s true, and that we find a solution to our current climate problems as well as a safe second option for humankind. Let us know what you think about the possibility of living on Mars. If you liked this article, share it with your friends who would volunteer to be the first colonizers. See you next time!