posted on Sep, 9 2013 @ 05:57 PM
Mars offers a lot of complications when considering habitability.
The biggest problems:
- Lack of a magnetosphere
- An atmosphere that is 96% Carbon Dioxide.
- Massive Sand Storms
- Lack of liquid water
- Greater distance from the Sun
- No supply chain for food or replacement parts
No magnetosphere means the planet is constantly bombarded with solar radiation. And that's no good unless you want a colony full of cancer victims.
The powerful sandstorms are a problem because they can damage structures, equipment and personnel.
The CO2 atmosphere means all breathable atmosphere will have to be artificial and recycled. And if there is a hull breach in a structure or
environmental suit, it may go unnoticed until the inhabitants asphyxiate and die unexpectedly.
The lack of liquid water means colonists would have to rely on collecting and thawing frozen ice to survive. However, temperatures in the polar
regions get down to around -300 Fahrenheit in martian winter. Unless, of course, groundwater exists and can be extracted.
The distance from the sun means Mars gets an estimated 43% as much sunlight as Earth gets. Which means solar panels may be much less efficient.
Another downside is that you will probably never eat meat again. Unless you can ship animals through space and keep them alive during the journey. And
then successfully land them and transport them to a habitat.
So What Can We Do?
This is my proposal. If we theoretically had the money and resource to get whatever we needed to Mars, that is.
Because of the sandstorms and radiation, It would be wise to bury all structures under martian soil to serve as a natural shield. This also means that
any structures sent to Mars would have to be strong enough to be buried. We would also need heavy equipment to do the digging and covering.
We could rely on solar panels and wind generators. But they would be subject to extensive damage and possibly need constant repair. Another option may
be to harvest methane which has been found on the planet. But one thing to remember is that a flame will not burn in the Martian atmosphere. It's all
So using methane would require also using oxygen.
The only good new about Mars is that soil tests have revealed that the soil is great for planting. And earth-based plants absorb Co2 for
photosynthesis. But due to the large sandstorms, all plants would probably need to be grown in sheltered greenhouses.
The biggest hurdles are water and air. Those ones, i'm not so sure about.