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Technologies that will be essential for people to survive on Mars

September 11, 2019


What Is Mars?

Mars is a planet. It is the fourth planet from the sun. It is the next planet beyond Earth. Mars is more than 142 million miles from the sun. The planet is about one-sixth the size of Earth. Mars is known as the Red Planet. It gets its red color from the iron in its soil. Mars has two small moons. Their names are Phobos and Deimos






















Mars is rocky with canyons, volcanoes and craters all over it. Red dust covers almost all of Mars. It has clouds and wind, just as Earth does. Sometimes the wind blows the red dust into a dust storm. Tiny dust storms can look like tornados, and large ones can cover the whole planet!


Mars has about one-third the gravity of Earth. A rock dropped on Mars would fall slower than a rock dropped on Earth. Things weigh less on Mars than they weigh on Earth. A person who weighs 100 pounds on Earth would only weigh about 37 pounds on Mars because of less gravity


Green is the new red and you, dear Surviving Mars player, have committed the fashion faux-pas of colonising a planet in last season's colour. Oh dear oh dear. Thankfully, the second expansion for Haemimont's colony-building strategy game will allow you to change that passé rust red for verdant greens and pops of blues by terraforming the planet. As a bonus, terraforming should make the planet…


















8 Tips for Surviving on Mars

So you want to live on Mars. Perhaps it’s the rugged terrain, beautiful scenery, or vast natural landscape that appeals to you. Or maybe you’re just a lunatic who wants to survive in a lifeless barren wasteland. Whatever your reasons, there are a few things you should know:
1: You’re going to need a pressure vessel.
Mars’s atmospheric pressure is less than one percent of Earth’s. So basically, it’s nothing. Being on the surface of Mars is almost the same as being in deep space. You better bring a nice, sturdy container to hold air in. By the way, this will be your home forever. So try to make it as big as you can.

2: You’re going to need oxygen.

You probably plan to breathe during your stay, so you’ll need to have something in that pressure vessel. Fortunately, you can get this from Mars itself. The atmosphere is very thin, but it is present and it’s almost entirely carbon dioxide. There are lots of ways to strip the carbon off carbon dioxide and liberate the oxygen. You could have complex mechanical oxygenators or you could just grow some plants.
3: You’re going to need radiation shielding.
Earth’s liquid core gives it a magnetic field that protects us from most of the nasty crap the sun pukes out at us. Mars has no such luxury. All kinds of solar radiation gets to the surface. Unless you’re a fan of cancer, you’re going to want your accommodations to be radiation-shielded. The easiest way to do that is to bury your base in Martian sand and rocks. They’re not exactly in short supply, so you can just make the pile deeper and deeper until it’s blocking enough.

4: You’re going to need water.

Again, Mars provides. The Curiosity probe recently discovered that Martian soil has quite a lot of ice in it. About 35 liters per cubic meter. All you need to do is scoop it up, heat it, and strain out the water. Once you have a good supply, a simple distillery will allow you to reuse it over and over.
5: You’re going to need food.
Just eat Martians. They taste like chicken.

6: Oh, come on.

All right, all right. Food is the one thing you need that can’t be found in abundance on Mars. You’ll have to grow it yourself. But you’re in luck, because Mars is actually a decent place for a greenhouse. The day/night cycle is almost identical to Earth’s, which Earth plants evolved to optimize for. And the total solar energy hitting the surface is enough for their needs.
But you can’t just grow plants on the freezing, near-vacuum surface. You’ll need a pressure container for them as well. And that one might have to be pretty big. Just think of how much food you eat in a year and imagine how much space it takes to grow it.
Hope you like potatoes. They’re the best calorie yield per land area.

7: You’re going to need energy.

However you set things up, it won’t be a self-contained system. Among other things, you’ll need to deal with heating your home and greenhouse. Mars’s average daily temperature is -50C (-58F), so it’ll be a continual energy drain to keep warm. Not to mention the other life support systems, most notably your oxygenator. And if you’re thinking your greenhouse will keep the atmosphere in balance, think again. A biosphere is far too risky on this scale.
8: You’re going to need a reason to be there.
Why go out of your way to risk your life? Do you want to study the planet itself? Start your own civilization? Exploit local resources for profit? Make a base with a big death ray so you can address the UN while wearing an ominous mask and demand ransom? Whatever your goal is, you better have it pretty well defined, and you better really mean it. Because in the end, Mars is a harsh, dangerous place and if something goes wrong you’ll have no hope of rescue. Whatever your reason is, it better be worth it.
                All of these challenges—and more—await the first humans who will set foot on Mars. Because the first manned mission to Mars is more than a decade away, scientists and engineers still have time to look for and address other potential challenges that humans will face on their way to the Red Planet, when they live there, and on their way back to Earth. Can you think of other issues or problems that humans will face and how they could be addressed? 











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