Other stories filed under Indepth
Photo by Maria Koliopoulos
Opinion: Moving to Mars Won’t Be Any Time Soon
Why transporting people to Mars won’t be happening for a while
September 29, 2017
As time progresses, different names in space exploration have set their eyes on Mars. They plan to start by moving people to Mars and making a terraforming effort to make it more inhabitable. Terraforming is changing a planet to make it more inhabitable. While they do know that terraforming won’t happen anytime soon, they think that we can put humans on Mars within the upcoming years. This colonization cannot happen within our generation or any generation coming up.
Focusing on SpaceX and Elon Musk’s plan, he proposes that we build a large rocket. In fact, according to National Geographic, he plans to build a rocket that when put together will be 400 feet tall and is supposed to be 3.5 times more powerful than the largest rocket NASA has built, the Saturn V. Budgeting for this would be astronomical, costing around 200,000$ per person, and he plans to send 1,000,000 people within 50 years. Musk does have a slight advantage though, he runs a private organization, so, therefore, he doesn’t have to work with government funds and the limitations that come with that. Despite this, he still has to find the funding and the people that it would take to send such an expensive expedition to Mars.
Another issue that could arise would be human adaptation to such extreme environments. Humans by themselves would not be able to live with current conditions without heavy support, but living with so much apparatus would cause an issue for a somewhat normal lifestyle. I think that this would cause a big issue to anyone attempting a life on Mars. The issue of living would become more and more difficult as replacing certain parts would become difficult, and the user would have to be extremely cautious as to not damage any of the inexpensive suit and other systems that would be on their person at any given moment.
We do know Mars, but we don’t know enough. According to NASA.gov, they have been searching Mars’ patterns and different environments since we got our first close-up picture of the planet in 1965. They also state that “Every time we feel close to understanding Mars, new discoveries send us straight back to the drawing board to revise existing theories.” As far as we know it is somewhat similar to Earth, with its varied terrain and weather patterns, but what’s underneath? We don’t even have any idea if there is life or any way that life could be easily sustainable. Not to mention the atmosphere of Mars is not made to defend against the radiation we see from the Sun, Musk states that “The radiation thing is often brought up, but I think it’s not too big of a deal.” He takes this problem too casually even though the radiation will probably lead to death for some or many. Sending a human up there would just prove to be too dangerous and life-threatening.
I think the mission to colonize Mars will be possible, eventually. I do not think that the dream is going to be reachable in anytime soon. The risks of death and disease are just simply too great. Until we can find a more protective and sustainable plan, I don’t think we should be looking to Mars as a place to live.