The exploration of Mars has been a long awaited mission. The effects however have been questioned for a very long time. Through my understanding of Martian Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury. It has an atmosphere primarily composed of carbon dioxide, molecular nitrogen and argon. It also contains levels of water vapour, oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and other noble gases. The atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than that of earth and is not suitable for human travel or extended living.
On Earth, we have all the resources we need to remain alive. From shelter to water to oxygen and to advanced technologies that have increased our way of living over numerous centuries, humans have populated the “planet of life”. The humans constant desire to expand our knowledge and our ownership of space, has left mars as an unmissable ground to expand and pollute throughout the late 20th century from 1994 to now. Throughout these years, many mars missions have been successful, however many have failed. With this said, human life has never touched the surface of mars, the only interaction with the Martian atmosphere is through robotic interactions that have been sent back to earth. If we have never landed on Mars, how do we expect to terraform the planet for extended living?
Our planet – Earth- is the third planet in the solar system to orbit the sun. It is also 54.6 million kilometres away from mars. Meaning, if we were to travel to mars it would take us approximately nine months using the Hohmann transfer orbit. For the orbit to re-open, it would take about five hundred days at Mars to wait for the transfer window to Earth, and another 9 months to return to Earth. This travel has only been tested on non-human carrying spacecraft’s and would take an extreme effort to transport numerous human individuals to the ‘red planet’. Instead of applying all this effort and money into space travel, we can spend it on bettering planet earth and solving the real, cruel and emerging issues we have now.
Terraformation is the act in which a planet is transformed to resemble the earth, especially so that it can support human life. Numerous sources suggest that this is the answer to populating Mars with human life, however there is no possible way of guaranteeing that this method with work, let alone for an extended period of time. So far, it is not humanly possible to change the atmosphere of mars if there is such little information known about the planet. Information has only been gathered from robotic devices, which could be have created technological errors. This impacts any type of new discoveries or advances made by space organisations in developing a way to live extendedly in mars. To terraform mars to mimic the atmosphere of earth, would take an unpredictable amount of time and money. Again, these efforts can be better used in earth. If mars was to be successfully terraformed, there is no way of knowing how long the terraformation could be sustained for. Another issue that may appear is the effect of the biomechanical change on surface of mars. Mar’s surface is primarily made of a thick layer of oxidized dust and there is no way of telling how it would react in the new atmosphere.