Reasons to Colonize Space (02:03)
Colonizing space is no longer the stuff of science fiction. It is likely that the first humans who will live on another planet have already been born. Shelter, food, and air will all have to be brought from Earth.
Prime Real Estate for Colonization (02:15)
In the vastness of space there is one destination above all others. Mars has the resources need to support human life. The planet has low atmospheric pressure that can be overcome by a pressurized space suit.
Long Range Mission Planning (03:12)
Today Mars is a frozen desert. Photos taken by space probes show evidence of erosion. This means that Mars had water on its surface and may have supported life. The Space Agency plans to return man to the moon by 2020 to test technology.
Mars Direct Mission Plan (03:45)
The moon's close proximity to Earth makes it a convenient proving ground to determine if humans are ready to colonize other planets. It is vastly different from Mars, which has more water and natural resources.
Trip to Mars (03:09)
Getting to Mars is the first step towards colonizing the planet. This will be as challenging as living there. Every two year Earth and Mars are on the same side of the sun. New hardware must be developed, but the technology is in existence.
Life in Space (02:41)
In 1997 astronaut Jerry Linenger spent five months aboard the Russian space station Mir. He overcame many dangers while on this long mission. Linenger describes some of his experience. New hardware will provide power from clean reliable sources.
Potential Dangers on Mars Mission (03:55)
A major hazard on a trip to Mars will be prolonged weightlessness in a zero gravity environment. Bone loss and muscle atrophy are a serious side effect. Another danger is solar storms, high energy particle bursts from the sun.
Space Pioneer Criteria (03:13)
There are already people training for the mission to Mars. Selection and training will be critical to the mission. A crew will be made up of two mechanics and two field scientists. Mars colonists will need to be mentally tough.
Mars Mission Practice Stations (03:13)
The Mars Society has built two analogue research stations for training. Crews operate under many of the same constraints that astronauts will endure on Mars. After completing two weeks of desert work, longer missions take place in the Arctic.
Findings in Mars Training Exercises (01:35)
Conducting field exploration in a field suit would be physically demanding in zero gravity. Another key finding was determining how little water humans need to survive. The Mars Society shares finding with NASA.
2040: Destination Mars (02:28)
Human explorers are on their way to Mars. It is time to land after completing the six month journey from Earth. The best place to land is Valles Marineris, a geologically diverse area. It is also the best place to establish a base camp.
2040: Mars Research (02:37)
Once the base is established the primary objective is to search for evidence of life. If the planet proves capable of supporting life it would be viable for astronauts to construct greenhouses and cultivate crops. Communication with Earth is key.
2040: Mars Habitat (02:43)
The initial habitat will be the crew vehicle. Private bunks are small and public space is larger so people can spend time together. As more people settle on Mars it may be safer to move the community under ground.
2040 Terra-forming and Genetic Engineering (04:05)
Once humans establish a self sufficient base on Mars the next major advance in space colonization will be to make the planet more like Earth. Greenhouses gases would have to be produced on Mars to be released into the environment.
Future Generations of Space Exploration (01:40)
Space colonization will be driven by the desire to expand as has happened throughout history. The human species has been resourceful in its ability to adapt and overcome challenges.
Credits: Colonizing Space (00:34)
Credits: Colonizing Space
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