Colonization of Mars

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 1 comments

Human beings have always aspired to explore and colonize other planets. But our technological advancements are not that much higher to acquire our aspirations. Our neighboring planet of Mars has been subjected to serious study in order to make it the most hospitable planet in the Solar System other than Earth. While the colonization of the moon has been proposed as the first human colonization, Mars has more potential capacity to host organic life.

The red planet has more similarities to Earth than the moon. One day on Mars accounts for 24 hours 39 minutes approximately. Mars has a substantial gravity of 38% whereas the lunar gravity is just 16% of Earth's gravity. It has a very thin atmosphere that provides some protection from cosmic radiation. Recent explorations on Mars has confirmed the existence of water ice and some significant quantities of elements required to support earth life.

Unlike Earth, Mars has extreme temperatures but that is also found on Earth. Its coldest temperatures can be matched to the extreme cold in Arctic and Antarctic circles. It was reported that lichens and cyanobacteria survived and showed remarkable adaptability after 34 days in simulated Martian conditions.

Mars has a gravity 0.38 times that of the Earth and the density of its atmosphere is 1% of that on Earth.The relatively strong gravity and the presence of aerodynamic effects makes it difficult to land heavy, crewed spacecraft with thrusters only, as was done with the Apollo moon landings, yet the atmosphere is too thin for aerodynamic effects to be of much help in braking and landing a large vehicle. Landing piloted missions on Mars will require braking and landing systems different from anything used to land crewed spacecraft on the Moon or robotic missions on Mars.

Possible settlement sites have been considered on Mars such as the poles where water ice has been discovered. The equatorial regions of Mars has caves that act as a natural shelters. With explorations going on in the Mars with Curiosity rover and future missions, establishment of a permanent human colony on Mars by 2023 will be a reality.


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