Would you move to Mars?

Monday, 3 October 2016

In the history of our human species there has never been a larger challenge then establishing human life on another planet. It's something that has been the dream of novelists, scientists, astronomers and philosophers since we looked up saw the moon and wondered "whats it like up there?". In 1969 we were finally able to put a human on the moon, however that "great leap for mankind" ended up landing quicker then expected. Since then our involvement in space exploration has been limited, and the dream of expanding the Human race off Earth seemed less likely. But why should we try and go to Mars at all?

Earth is resilient and has come back from mass extinction events before. After the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs collided with earth the planet was under the cover of darkness for around 2 years. The tiny percentage of plant and animal life that survived then went on to evolve into everything you see today. Another mass extinction event will happen, it could be another asteroid, super potent viruses, nuclear war or even runaway greenhouse effect causing global warming. We may or may not survive it when it does, however becoming an interplanetary species will safely secure our future. You could see it as not putting all our eggs in one basket.

Source: Space X (via, YouTube)

Now space and planetary science is something that has always interested me so I have just watched the latest technical presentation by Elon Musk, where he outlines his vision of how mars colonization is possible. If you don't know who Elon Musk is he is the man behind companies like paypal, Tesla motors and Space X. His plan is to make it affordable for anyone who wants to go and live on Mars. Now when I say affordable the figure that was quoted was around $200,000, but even that isn't a price that is so unobtainable that someone dedicated to doing this sole thing with their lives couldn't theoretically save up for.

Source: Space X (via, YouTube)

One of the reasons Musk's plan is so much cheaper then other options in space flight is that all parts of the spacecraft could be reusable. In the past the first booster stage of a rocket (the part that propels the craft/satellite into orbit) was scraped after a mission and a new one was made, at great cost. However last year Space X managed to land a booster stage for the very first time. Doing this made it reusable and cut the price of space flight dramatically. The fact that they are investing in tech like this means it can be transferred to a mars mission. By putting a spacecraft in orbit then sending up fuel and cargo before it goes on its interplanetary journey is the most effective way of colonizing Mars. By investing in reusable craft to refuel and fly to Mars a manned mission is far more possible. Musk has the very ambitious time-frame of sending a crew to mars in 10 years. I'm excited to see if it will be possible.

The trip itself could take as little as 80 days with a crew of 100, and there will be plenty of work to do establishing a Human settlement when you get there. Although because the gravity is only 38% of that on Earth you would be super strong and jump super high. Plus due to the lack of trees, no more pollen allergies. 👍👍

Would you go on a Mars mission?
What do you think it would be like to be on a new planet?


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