Introduction: Mars-Space Colonies (03:22)
In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon; scientists believe human missions to Mars are possible. Climate change and asteroid strikes are imminent threats to civilization; survival may depend on space colonization. Water found on Mars establishes its candidacy for habitat, but technological problems of transportation and life support must first be solved.
Mars Missions (04:37)
(Credits) Mars has polar cap water reserves, environmental similarities to Earth, and resources; in 1965, Mariner Four first transmitted pictures of the planet's topography. In 1996, the Mars Global Surveyor probe was launched; NASA has since developed the Mars Exploration Program to obtain data remotely and locate water. In 2011, the Curiosity Rover began searching for signs of life.
Colonization Motivators (02:47)
Humans are curious and explorative; vast resources are available beyond our planet; colonization would allow human populations to expand. Climate change and asteroid impact are threats to civilization; a permanent base on Mars would provide an alternative home and access to space materials.
Choosing Mars (04:50)
Asteroids and the moon are being considered for colonization due to mineable resources and discovery of lunar water. Mars is larger, has more resources, some atmosphere, and conditions closer to Earth than any other solar body. There is acceptable sunlight on the red planet and some gravity; the Journey to Mars mission has been collecting data, inspiring public and private interest in habitation.
Inhospitable Conditions (05:19)
Mars is hostile for life; survival requires life support measures; atmosphere is thin, without oxygen, and full of abrasive, toxic dust. Terra forming allows the creation of biosphere; scientists using climate models think it is feasible, but will take generations. Heating the planet may be accomplished with orbiting mirrors or provoking an artificial greenhouse effect.
Protecting Colonists (01:52)
Radiation affects human DNA; Mars lacks magnetosphere and atmosphere, allowing solar flares and cosmic rays to inflict damage. Plasma deflector shields and protective techniques are being developed.
Expenses and Landing (04:47)
Space transport is expensive; cost reduction is required to establish a permanent base on Mars. Spacex economic goals include use of reusable rockets, orbital fueling, and colony propellant production. Touch down on the planet requires various braking systems and navigation technology; Journey to Mars will investigate reentry techniques required for human colonization.
Colony locale should have scientific value and resource accessibility. The poles have water ice, but are dark for a year at a time; the equator is warmer; mid latitude has sunlight and some water ice. Noctis Canyon is being considered for communication advantages; landing on Phobos and Deimos is easier due to zero gravity, the Mars moon colonies would be a developmental step.
Mars surface has extreme temperatures and no atmosphere; colonists will require shielding. Mars Ice Home is an inflatable structure surrounded by ice; it is light weight, remotely constructed and offers benefits of surface living.
Life Support (02:18)
Colonists will require recycling technology for air, water and waste. Initial habitants will use a physical chemical to recycle wastes; establishing a plant-based bioregenerative system is the long term goal.
Energy and Communication (02:52)
Sunlight on Mars is sufficient for growing plants; human requirements will be fulfilled by solar and nuclear power. Distance from Earth causes transmission delays; new satellite systems will be implemented before colonization.
Preparing for Colonization (03:41)
A human Mars mission requires overcoming technological challenges and risks; robotic rovers will arrive first, locating resources, and exploring locations. Robotic cargo missions transporting habitat, supplies, and equipment will then arrive, to be operational when inhabitants land. In 2014, Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle was launched and tested for a future Mars orbiting mission; several countries plan to send robotic missions to the red planet.
Journey to Mars (03:00)
Journey to Mars is a three phase program culminating on human settlement; Earth Reliant explorations have been launched, focusing on research aboard the International Space Station; the Proving Ground stage will test astronauts and the Orion near the moon and in deep space. The Earth Independent stage lands explorers on the red planet's surface.
Private Organizations (05:05)
The Mars Society is dedicated to human exploration and settlement; President Robert Zubrin asserts that technology has advanced sufficiently. Spacex is an aerospace company aspiring to establish a colony, and drastically reduce costs of space travel.
Credits: Mars - Space Colonies (01:25)
Credits: Mars - Space Colonies
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