As Stephen Petranek said, if we don’t move we will perish. Global temperatures are rising and it is expected a possible global extinction event can wipe human race on Earth. It’s high time to move to another planet in order to save mankind. So now we are looking to Mars as a backup planet for humanity. So could humans survive on Mars?
Can we live on Mars?
Let’s look at it in basic needs point of view like Water, Oxygen, Food and Shelter.
Water – Mars has no drinkable Water. Water is in frozen state beneath the ground and at poles.
Oxygen – Mars is mostly carbon dioxide which humans can’t breathe.
Atmosphere – Unlike Earth, Mars atmosphere is thin thus no atmospheric pressure. So body fluids like blood and water vaporize if you come outside without a space suit.
Fertile Land – Mars land has enough iron oxide and nutrients for growing plants. We have to remove few harsh chemicals from the land before planting.
Radiation – Strong Magnetic field protects our Earth from harsh cosmic rays which is not present on Mars. So if you are directly exposed to cosmic rays you may develop cancer or memory or fatigue problems.
Temperature – Mars has cold temperature with an average temperature of -52 °F and temperature can reach to -100 °F during night.
Now after listening to all this you may feel it’s very difficult to live on Mars. But it’s not an impossible thing to achieve. We can turn Mars into habitable planet like Earth through Terraforming. Terraforming is nothing but turning any planet to Earth like planet that supports human life. Before anything we have to create a pressurized and heat environment for the habitants. Now let’s start terraforming Mars.
First we have to melt the ice to create water. We can do it in 3 ways.
- We can project sun rays to polar ice using very large mirrors to melt ice cabs, which is very expensive.
- Introducing greenhouse gases into Mars atmosphere which warms the planet and eventually ice melts. This can be done by establishing greenhouse gases emitting factories on Mars which is tricky.
- Shooting very large icy comets to melt ice and distribute the water just like it happened to Earth billions of years ago.
Cold water holds more oxygen than warm water because molecules are so close trapping oxygen in it. So when we melt ice this oxygen gets released into atmosphere thus creates breathable atmosphere for humans. Also Mars contains Perchlorate which has 4 Oxygen molecules which we can separate to create breathable atmosphere.
In the process of melting ice to create water we actually warm up Mars atmosphere so we don’t need to panic about cold weather anymore.
Now we have water, oxygen and carbon dioxide to grow food. But we need Nitrogen to boost plants growth. Plants don’t consume atmospheric nitrogen directly. On Earth bacteria in soil help in seeping nitrogen through roots. So we have to introduce genetically engineered bacteria into Mars soil to make this happen.
Mars soil is perfect for making bricks which we can use to build shelters with thick walls protecting us from radiation and keeping us warm.
Here comes the toughest part in terraforming Mars. Even after creating a habitable atmosphere solar winds simply blow away this atmosphere because Mars has a very weak magnetic field and low gravity to hold the atmosphere. Earth has spinning molten metal core which creates strong magnetic field. Unlike Earth Mars core is frozen and 1/10th in size due to which Mars magnetic field is weak. We have to shoot some nuclear bombs to the core to restart the magnetic field.
All this procedure could take hundreds or thousands of years. We can do this, we really can! I’m very much optimistic on terraforming Mars. That’s all folks, if you enjoyed reading our post please subscribe to our infotainment YouTube channel for informative videos 🙂