Since I was a child, I was always fascinated by the solar system, space, astronauts and whether or not there is another life that we have not yet encountered. In high school we had a very special guest visit us to tell me and fellow students that anything in life is possible, Buzz Aldrin, who on July 21st, 1969 took his first step on the moon along with Neil Armstrong. That to me, being in the same room as he was incredible.
In this short study, I will be giving a brief explanation on whether or not mars is inhabitable and if so, what do we do once we land there. How will we survive on such a planet that, as we know so far, doesn’t have water which is a vital resource for all walks of life, as well as food and how are we going to build a colony on a planet that has no resources to construct anything?.
Mars One’s original concept included launching a robotic Mars lander and a Mars orbiter in the year 2020, as well as sending a human crew of 4 in 2024. They also planned to send a crew that would NOT return to earth, which was heavily criticized by scientists, engineers, and the aerospace industry.
In 2013, Mars One started its recruitment phase of astronaut candidates which received over 200,000 candidates, but only 2,761 completed the application process in the first round. The second round, a year later, brought to a total of 2,761 candidates down to 705, then down to 100, eventually Mars one settled for 40 final astronauts whom we going to start the process of building a settlement for training purposes.
When Earth and Mars are at their closest to each other, it would take around 261 days to get from to Mars. At this day and age, leaving the Earth’s atmosphere is no longer a problem, it’s how are we going to land on Mar’s surface that is the problem. Back in 2007, the scientist came up with four possible solutions. One idea was to build a legged landing system that could make it possible to land and take off from the red planet. Secondly, an SLS System, in other words, a Sky-crane Landing System, would use systems to lower rovers and other equipment onto the surface. The third idea that was discussed was an airbag landing system that would rely on a rocket to cut of its engines near the surface on Mars and drop all the equipment onto a large airbag for the equipment to land on. Last, of all, scientists considered Touchdown Sensing, the equipment would sense the surface and the landing site, then compensates accordingly.
Building on Mars
The Swiss Martian Garden
Swiss researchers are constructing a ‘Martian Garden’ near Basil in which to test a CLUP (Close-Up Imager) camera that will be sent to Mars during the ExoMars mission that will take place in 2020.
The University of Basil professor Nicolaus J. Kuhn told Swiss public broadcaster SRF: “We are testing, for example, how the Mars Rover should drive over a stone that we want to investigate, what position our camera has to be in and what sun conditions are best for capturing images”.
The idea is to use the camera to see if they can find life on Mars and to check to condition to ensure that it is inhabitable for humans.
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, found that is it incredibly easy to make ‘Martian Bricks’ that are apparently stronger than steel-reinforced concrete. Lead researcher Yu Qiao and his team worked with a NASA-formulated simulation of Martian soil and found that it contained extremely low iron oxide compounds that could bind the soil together when putting under pressure to form a simple brick.
The Mars Ice House
Another possibility is the use of 3d printing to create structures primarily out of Martian ice. The Mars ice house project has already seen the team experiment with one-to-one ice printing on earth, and they say they have developed a process that can turn subsurface Martian ice into vapor. This is then converted into liquid water and used to print solid structures in an environment that’s cold enough to instantly turn in to solid ice.
Water and Food
Water can be extracted from the soil and the Mars rover will select the location of the settlement primarily based on the water content in the soil.
The rover will deposit soil into a water extractor in the life support unit then the unit will heat up the soil enough to evaporate. Once the water is evaporated it will be condensed and stored.
Research suggests that Mars soil has some of the nutrients for the plant to grow and survive. Because of planets extremely cold conditions, such as potatoes, would need to be grown in a controlled environment. The team who will be living on Mars will have to come up with ingenious ways for making the soil more suitable for plant growth.
- Anon., 2019. [Online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_One
- Megan Ray Nichols., 2019. [Online] Available at: http://www.astronomy.com/news/2017/05/could-we-live-on-mars
- Sarah Lorek., 2019. [Online] Available at: https://constructible.trimble.com/construction-industry/spacex-to-mars-city-how-to-build-on-mars
- Roberto Molar Candanosa., 2019. [Online] Available at: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/past-issues/2016-2017/april-2017/growing-green-on-the-red-planet.html