Can Humans Inhabit Mars in the 22nd Century?
Is life on MARS possible?
People still do not dare to think about the idea of “humans on Mars”. But modern-day research has led to many solid proofs acclaiming life on the Red Planet.
- Atmosphere of Mars
The climate of MARS is freezing, desiccated, and oxidizing in nature. The most determining factor for any planet to sustain life is liquid water. Although water is present on the Red Planet, the temperature is much lower than the freezing point of water. So, water is either in the form of ice or water vapors. However, research does show that water may persist in liquid form if the salts sufficiently decrease the melting point(Fairén et al., 2009).
- The Mars Meteorite
NASA has confirmed the presence of sedimentary rocks, another life-sustaining proof. The most solid evidence till now is the Martian meteorite_ ALH84001. The scientists studied that the Martian stone has several constituents and properties that assure the existence of life(McKay, 1997).
Has anyone been to MARS?
One might think that the struggles to reach the Red Planet must have started in the near past. But surprisingly, Mariner 4 reached much closer to Mars in the year 1965. After that, NASA, Russia, and UAE have sent countless probes to Mars.
But most of them either started revolving around it or has a landing failure. The reason is quite simple. When a spacecraft reaches Mars from Earth, it has an extremely high velocity. The pressure in the Martian atmosphere is much lower than Earth that further increases the speed(Andreotti et al., 2021). And this results in the crash landing of the probe. Thus, it is a great challenge to rapidly decrease the spacecraft's speed to an extent that it lands smoothly.
Until now, several spacecraft have landed on Mars. But due to the Martian climate, Mars landing issues, and some diplomatic hurdles, no man has been sent to the Red Planet.
Mission to Mars 2033
As always, China is way ahead of its time. According to this mission, a Chinese space crew will land on Mars, hopefully in 2033. This crew will survive by utilizing the resources of the Red Planet.
The ultimate goal of the mission is to make a permanent foundation on Mars. The team will manipulate the Martian reservoirs to make the planet habitable for humans.
Before sending the crewed ship, China will send robotic probes to the Red Planet. Through robots, they will search the suitable locations for landing and surviving there. The robots will provide sufficient information making the mission safer for the crew(Krapivin et al., 2016).
Why should one live on Mars?
The question here arises why millions of dollars are being expended on such an approach. Firstly, man has always been curious about the cosmos. He wants to unveil the darkness of the universe.
Secondly, the Earth seems like it is dying out. Due to overpopulation, climate shift, depletion of natural reservoirs, and global warming, no one knows how long the Earth may persist(Harvey, 2018).
Thus, there is a need to find another place to survive. The surface area of the moon is just 27% of the Earth. And scientifically life on Venus is impossible., All this mess leaves Mars the only possible option.
Mars has water to sustain life. The Red Planet has a gravity that is adaptable to humans. It has the same surface area as that of land on Earth. Martian atmosphere is the closest to the Earth as compared to other planets. The circadian rhythm is pretty much also the same on Mars.
Earth to Mars travel time
Rockets cannot directly aim at Mars through the shortest possible distance. Mars is continuously revolving around the Sun. So, if a rocket launch aiming at the Red Planet, Mars would have traveled a significant distance the time rocket reaches its target.
Thus, the rocket projects in an elliptical orbit to reach Mars. The radius of the trajectory is an average between the orbits of Earth and Mars(Byrnes et al., 1993).
Scientifically estimated, a probe can travel from Earth to Mars in 8-9 months. The more fuel a rocket consumes, the faster it could reach the target. Now, if somehow man lands on Mars, he has to explore it. Then he has to make the trip back to Earth. Landing a spacecraft carrying enough fuel to travel back to Earth is a great challenge.
Mars colonization time
Elon Musk founded his own rocket company The SpaceX after NASA disappoints him by not investing much in Mars. Since then, he has been obsessed with the idea of colonization on Mars.
He says that now is the time for humans to be multi-planetary species (Buchanan, 2017). Musk claims to colonize 1 million humans on the Red Planet by the year 2050.
He believes that in case of any calamity on Earth, there should be other chances of survival of the human race. Although the odds are pretty tough, he is confident about his plan.
Today it may seem stupid to discuss such scenarios. But when a future-oriented organization, having this much exposure to scientific resources, strategizes a plan, it is worth discussing! Well, I don’t see the man on Mars in the next 10 years. But giving it some more time, the Earthlings will find a way to live on Mars.
Andreotti, B., Claudin, P., Iversen, J. J., Merrison, J. P., & Rasmussen, K. R. (2021). A lower-than-expected saltation threshold at Martian pressure and below. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(5).
Buchanan, M. (2017). Colonizing Mars. Nature Physics, 13(11), 1035–1035.
Byrnes, D. V., Longuski, J. M., & Aldrin, B. (1993). Cycler orbit between Earth and Mars. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 30(3), 334–336.
Fairén, A. G., Davila, A. F., Gago-Duport, L., Amils, R., & McKay, C. P. (2009). Stability against freezing of aqueous solutions on early Mars. Nature, 459(7245), 401–404.
Harvey, L. D. (2018). Global warming. Routledge.
Krapivin, V. F., Varotsos, C. A., & Christodoulakis, J. (2016). Mission to Mars: Adaptive identifier for the solution of inverse optical metrology tasks. Earth, Moon, and Planets, 118(1), 1–14.
McKay, C. P. (1997). The search for life on Mars. Planetary and Interstellar Processes Relevant to the Origins of Life, 263–289.
Mehzaib anwar (author) from pakistan on October 01, 2021:
I m a new writer and its my first article on hubpages. I would love if you guys correct me in any way.
MG Singh emge from Singapore on October 01, 2021:
This is a nice article but what I understand is that the Martian atmosphere is too rare for human life to survive.
Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on September 30, 2021:
One million by 2050 would be incredible.