Will we ever colonize Mars?

June 1, 2015 by Matt Williams, Universe Today
Artist illustration of a Mars Colony. Credit: NASA

Mars. It's a pretty unforgiving place. On this dry, dessicated world, the average surface temperature is -55 °C (-67 °F). And at the poles, temperatures can reach as low as -153 °C (243 °F). Much of that has to do with its thin atmosphere, which is too thin to retain heat (not to mention breathe). So why then is the idea of colonizing Mars so intriguing to us?

Well, there are a number of reasons, which include the similarities between our two planets, the availability of water, the prospects for generating food, oxygen, and building materials on-site. And there's even the long-term benefits of using Mars as a source of raw materials and terraforming it into a liveable environment. Let's go over them one by one…

Benefits:

As already mentioned, there are many interesting similarities between Earth and Mars that make it a viable option for colonization. For starters, Mars and Earth have very similar lengths of days. A Martian day is 24 hours and 39 minutes, which means that plants and animals – not to mention human colonists – would find that familiar.

Mars also has an axial tilt that is very similar to Earth's, which means it has the same basic seasonal patterns as our planet (albeit for longer periods of time). Basically, when one hemisphere is pointed towards the Sun, it experiences summer while the other experiences winter – complete with warmer temperatures and longer days.

This too would work well when it comes to growing seasons and would provide colonists with a comforting sense of familiarity and a way of measuring out the year. Much like farmers here on Earth, native Martians would experience a "growing season", a "harvest", and would be able to hold annual festivities to mark the changing of the seasons.

Also, much like Earth, Mars exists within our Sun's habitable zone (aka. "goldilocks zone"), though it is slightly towards its outer edge. Venus is similarly located within this zone, but its location on the inner edge (combined with its thick atmosphere) has led to it becoming the hottest planet in the Solar System. That, combined with its sulfuric acid rains makes Mars a much more attractive option.

Additionally, Mars is closer to Earth than the other Solar planets – except for Venus, but we already covered why it's not a very good option! This would make the process of colonizing it easier. In fact, every few years when the Earth and Mars are at opposition – i.e. when they are closest to each other – the distance varies, making certain "launch windows" ideal for sending colonists.

For example, on April 8th, 2014, Earth and Mars were 92.4 million km (57.4 million miles) apart at opposition. On May 22nd, 2016, they will be 75.3 million km (46.8 million miles) apart, and by July 27th of 2018, a meager 57.6 million km (35.8 million miles) will separate our two worlds. During these windows, getting to Mars would be a matter of months rather than years.

Also, Mars has vast reserves of water in the form of ice. Most of this water ice is located in the polar regions, but surveys of Martian meteorites have suggested that much of it may also be locked away beneath the surface. This water could be extracted and purified for human consumption easily enough.

In his book, The Case for Mars, Robert Zubrin also explains how future human colonists might be able to live off the land when traveling to Mars, and eventually colonize it. Instead of bringing all their supplies from Earth – like the inhabitants of the International Space Station – future colonists would be able to make their own air, water, and even fuel by splitting Martian water into oxygen and hydrogen.

Preliminary experiments have shown that Mars soil could be baked into bricks to create protective structures, which would cut down on the amount of materials needed to be shipped to the surface. Earth plants could eventually be grown in Martian soil too, assuming they get enough sunlight and carbon dioxide. Over time, planting on the native soil could also help to create a breathable atmosphere.

Diagram showing the habitable zones of the Solar System (upper row) and the Gliese 581 system (lower row). Based on a diagram by Franck Selsis, Univ. of Bordeaux. Credit: ESO
Challenges:

Despite the aforementioned benefits, there are also some rather monumental challenges to colonizing the Red Planet. For starters, there is the matter of the average surface temperature, which is anything but hospitable. While temperatures around the equator at midday can reach a balmy 20 °C, at the Curiosity site – the Gale Crater, which is close to the equator – typical nighttime temperatures are as low as -70 °C.

The gravity on Mars is also only about 40% of what we experience on Earth's, which would make adjusting to it quite difficult. According to a NASA report, the effects of zero-gravity on the human body are quite profound, with a loss of up to 5% muscle mass a week and 1% of bone density a month.

Naturally, these losses would be lower on the surface of Mars, where there is at least some gravity. But permanent settlers would still have to contend with the problems of muscle degeneration and osteoporosis in the long run.

And then there's the atmosphere, which is unbreathable. About 95% of the planet's atmosphere is carbon dioxide, which means that in addition to producing breathable air for their habitats, settlers would also not be able to go outside without a pressure suit and bottled oxygen.

New estimates of water ice on Mars suggest there may be large reservoirs of underground ice at non-polar latitudes. Credit: Feldman et al., 2011

Mars also has no global magnetic field comparable to Earth's geomagnetic field. Combined with a thin atmosphere, this means that a significant amount of ionizing radiation is able to reach the Martian surface.

Thanks to measurements taken by the Mars Odyssey spacecraft's Mars Radiation Environment Experiment (MARIE), scientists learned that radiation levels in orbit above Mars are 2.5 times higher than at the International Space Station. Levels on the surface would be lower, but would still be higher than human beings are accustomed to.

In fact, a recent paper submitted by a group of MIT researchers – which analyzed the Mars One plan to colonize the planet beginning in 2020 – concluded that the first astronaut would suffocate after 68 days, while the others would die from a combination of starvation, dehydration, or incineration in an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

In short, the challenges to creating a permanent settlement on Mars are numerous, but not necessarily insurmountable.

Terraforming:

Over time, many or all of the difficulties in living on Mars could be overcome through the application of geoengineering (aka. terraforming). Using organisms like cyanobacteria and phytoplankton, colonists could gradually convert much of the CO² in the atmosphere into breathable oxygen.

In addition, it is estimated that there is a significant amount of carbon dioxide (CO²) in the form of dry ice at the Martian south pole, not to mention absorbed by in the planet's regolith (soil). If the temperature of the planet were raised, this ice would sublimate into gas and increase atmospheric pressure. Although it would still not be breathable by humans, it would be sufficient enough to eliminate the need for pressure suits.

A possible way of doing this is by deliberately triggering a greenhouse effect on the planet. This could be done by importing ammonia ice from the atmospheres of other planets in our Solar System. Because ammonia (NH³) is mostly nitrogen by weight, it could also supply the buffer gas needed for a breathable atmosphere – much as it does here on Earth.

Will We Ever Colonize Mars?
The Biosphere 2 project is an attempt to simulate Mars-like conditions on Earth. Credit: Science Photo Library

Similarly, it would be possible to trigger a greenhouse effect by importing hydrocarbons like methane – which is common in Titan's atmosphere and on its surface. This methane could be vented into the atmosphere where it would act to compound the greenhouse effect.

Zubrin and Chris McKay, an astrobiologist with NASA's Ames Research center, have also suggested creating facilities on the surface that could pump greenhouse gases into the , thus triggering global warming (much as they do here on Earth).

Other possibilities exist as well, ranging from orbital mirrors that would heat the surface to deliberately impacting the surface with comets. But regardless of the method, possibilities exist for transforming Mars' environment that could make it more suitable for humans in the long run – many of which we are currently doing right here on Earth (with less positive results).

Another proposed solution is building habitats underground. By building a series of tunnels that connect between subterranean habitats, settlers could forgo the need for oxygen tanks and pressure suits when they are away from home.

Additionally, it would provide protection against radiation exposure. Based on data obtained by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, it is also speculated that habitable environments exist underground, making it an even more attractive option.

Artist’s concept of a Martian astronaut standing outside the Mars One habitat. Credit: Bryan Versteeg/Mars One
Proposed Missions:

NASA's proposed manned mission to Mars – which is slated to take place during the 2030s using the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and the Space Launch System (SLS) – is not the only proposal to send humans to the Red Planet. In addition to other federal space agencies, there are also plans by private corporations and non-profits, some of which are far more ambitious than mere exploration.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has long-term plans to send humans, though they have yet to build a manned spacecraft. Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, is also planning a manned Mars mission, with simulations (called Mars-500) having been completed in Russia back in 2011. The ESA is currently participating in these simulations as well.

In 2012, a group of Dutch entrepreneurs revealed plans for a crowdfunded campaign to establish a human Mars base, beginning in 2023. Known as MarsOne, the plan calls for a series of one-way missions to establish a permanent and expanding colony on Mars, which would be financed with the help of media participation.

Other details of the MarsOne plan include sending a telecom orbiter by 2018, a rover in 2020, and the base components and its settlers by 2023. The base would be powered by 3,000 square meters of solar panels and the SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy rocket would be used to launch the hardware. The first crew of 4 astronauts would land on Mars in 2025; then, every two years, a new crew of 4 astronauts would arrive.

On December 2nd, 2014, NASA's Advanced Human Exploration Systems and Operations Mission Director Jason Crusan and Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs James Reuthner announced tentative support for the Boeing "Affordable Mars Mission Design". Currently planned for the 2030s, the mission profile includes plans for radiation shielding, centrifugal artificial gravity, in-transit consumable resupply, and a return-lander.

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also announced plans to establish a colony on Mars with a population of 80,000 people. Intrinsic to this plan is the development of the Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT), a spaceflight system that would rely of reusable rocket engines, launch vehicles and space capsules to humans to Mars and return to Earth.

As of 2014, SpaceX has begun development of the large Raptor rocket engine for the Mars Colonial Transporter, but the MCT is not expected to be operational until the mid-2020s. In January 2015, Musk said that he hoped to release details of the "completely new architecture" for the Mars transport system in late 2015.

There may come a day when, after generations of terraforming and numerous waves of colonists, that Mars will begin to have a viable economy as well. This could take the form of mineral deposits being discovered and then sent back to Earth for sale. Launching precious metals, like platinum, off the surface of Mars would be relatively inexpensive thanks to its lower gravity.

But according to Musk, the most likely scenario (at least for the foreseeable future) would involve an economy based on real estate. With human populations exploding all over Earth, a new destination that offers plenty of room to expand is going to look like a good investment. And once transportation issues are worked out, savvy investors are likely to start buying up land.

Plus, there is likely to be a market for scientific research on Mars for centuries to come. Who knows what we might find once planetary surveys really start to open up!

In short, one day, there could be real Martians – and they would be us!

Explore further: New project aims to establish a human colony on Mars

Related Stories

New project aims to establish a human colony on Mars

May 26, 2015

MarsPolar, a newly started international venture is setting its sights on the Red Planet. The project consisting of specialists from Russia, United Arab Emirates, Poland, U.S. and Ukraine has come up with a bold idea to establish ...

NASA considers possibilities for manned mission to Venus

December 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate has issued a report outlining a possible way for humans to visit Venus, rather than Mars—by hovering in the atmosphere instead of landing on the surface. The ...

NASA spacecraft completes 40,000 Mars orbits

February 11, 2015

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter passed a mission milestone of 40,000 orbits on Feb. 7, 2015, in its ninth year of returning information about the atmosphere, surface and subsurface of Mars, from equatorial to polar latitudes.

Does the red planet have green auroras?

May 14, 2015

Martian auroras will never best the visual splendor of those we see on Earth, but have no doubt. The red planet still has what it takes to throw an auroral bash. Witness the latest news from NASA's MAVEN atmospheric probe.

Recommended for you

Researchers engineer a tougher fiber

February 22, 2019

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a fiber that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of a metal, resulting in a tougher material that could be incorporated into soft robotics, packaging ...

A quantum magnet with a topological twist

February 22, 2019

Taking their name from an intricate Japanese basket pattern, kagome magnets are thought to have electronic properties that could be valuable for future quantum devices and applications. Theories predict that some electrons ...

36 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Scottingham
3 / 5 (4) Jun 01, 2015
The radiation pickle is a lot tougher than they make it seem in this article. Not only is it a problem when they get there, it's a HUGE problem for the months they are in a small space ship.

The solutions to the radiation though could end up curing/preventing cancer, so here's to hoping.
Mark Thomas
3.3 / 5 (3) Jun 01, 2015
So far it sounds like people will have no objection to the United States claiming a few million square kilometers of Mars as it territory for every manned landing since the cost doesn't justify going there (Comment 1), the radiation problem is HUGE (Comment 2) and lots of better places exist on Earth (Comment 3). One can only assume that applies to all planets throughout the galaxy because they present even greater difficulties. Thanks! :-)
Returners
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 01, 2015
The U.S, is the only nation with a moon walk, so we should get to claim the whole thing.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 01, 2015
We dont need to terraform mars to live there. Underground tunnels and cavities could be created with nuclear-powered robotic earthborers and plowshare nukes which could support millions, in environments similar to what the normal city dweller thrives in here on earth.

"the cost doesn't justify going there"

-Humanity has to establish independent colonies throughout the system in order to avoid being extincted. There is no choice in this. And planets and moons are the best places to do this.
crusher
5 / 5 (2) Jun 01, 2015
yeah, eventually
gkam
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 01, 2015
Looks like we won't be going soon.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (3) Jun 01, 2015
Ahhh, isn't the sweet. They decided upon sci-fi for today's article.
dan42day
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 02, 2015
I believe Russians have walked on the moon.


Well, would you believe that I hold the title to the Brooklyn Bridge and will sell it to you for 240 monthly payments of $500.00?
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Jun 02, 2015
I believe Russians have walked on the moon
I know for a fact that Germans have.
http://youtu.be/Jth4yATniS4
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Jun 02, 2015
Some folk cannot tell fantasy from reality. The screams of "WMD!" caught almost all of them.
docile
Jun 02, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (4) Jun 02, 2015
Will we ever colonize Antarctica? If we didn't accomplish simpler / more effective task, why we should bother with this more difficult one?
I remember reading a future history from the perspective of ad3000 which described a domed Amundsen City.

With a little searching I see others have elaborated on it.
http://fsa.wikia....sen_City
https://books.goo...;f=false
krundoloss
1 / 5 (1) Jun 04, 2015
No doubt we will establish some form of outpost or colony on Mars, at some point. We will need to perfect our micro-manufacturing technology, or some other type of technology that allows us to build or grow high technology with little resources.

In regards to Teraforming, wouldn't the lack of a strong magnetic field to protect the atmosphere, just allow the gases to get "burned off" by the sun? That's one of the biggest problems I see, as others have said, the radiation makes it unable to be teraformed.

I have always thought that Teraforming is ridiculous, why would you change a whole planet, when you could just genetically engineer yourself to survive and thrive there. Its a whole lot easier to change a lifeform than it is to change a whole planet!
SciTechdude
not rated yet Jun 04, 2015
I have always thought that Teraforming is ridiculous, why would you change a whole planet, when you could just genetically engineer yourself to survive and thrive there. Its a whole lot easier to change a lifeform than it is to change a whole planet!


Yeah, but look at the issues people have with even the smallest of genetic tweaks right now. People crying about how unfair it is, how only the rich get blah, how it's an abomination before whatever. Then imagine the stink if you actually designed some babies to breath carbon dioxide and resist radiation and low gravity?
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2015
"Then imagine the stink if you actually designed some babies to breath carbon dioxide and resist radiation and low gravity?"
----------------------------------------------------

Oh, ..can we start with your kids?
Shootist
not rated yet Jun 04, 2015
"Then imagine the stink if you actually designed some babies to breath carbon dioxide and resist radiation and low gravity?"
----------------------------------------------------

Oh, ..can we start with your kids?


Wouldn't bother the Chinese at all. Or the Indians.
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2015
Did they tell you that?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2015
Did they tell you that?
You got something meaningful to say or are you here to gunk up another thread with your spittle?

VA drugs'll do that ya know.

I see youre on another 5 min/post tear with a little nappy in between.
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2015
The first Mars colony may be like Jamestown Colony.

It may take several tries to get it right.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2015
Slow down george. Give each post a little thought. A little more than 5 minutes/60 posts a day anyways.

People might think youre on a few too many VA drugs.

Why dont you go out and fill up a few more water barrels? You told us the big ones coming right?

You know because you actually sat through a few. You and a bunch of strippers down at the local club.

A quorum.
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2015
Doug Huffman is right. We could invent and try out the required technology on the Moon, right here out the back door, essentially.
Jonseer
1 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2015
We will start to colonize when the Chinese and/or Indians are able to travel there easil.

The PC belief that we should not risk contamination of any other planet to explore it or live there rules all other decisions when it comes Western space exploration.

Google it.

It was the reason why Galilleo was sent into the cloud tops of Jupiter instead of slowly crashing down on Europa to get better pictures. The researchers were afraid earth microbes would contaminate Europa.

Same fate awaits Cassini. Instead of being sent to crash into Titon to get the lest best photos, it will be sent into Saturns cloudtops.

Martian landers have NOT been sent to the locations where life if it exists is most likely to be on Mars, like the plains of mud volcanoes or the Hellas Basin the only place on Mars where atmospheric pressure is high enough to allow water to exist at its triple point.

TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2015
Doug Huffman is right. We could invent and try out the required technology on the Moon, right here out the back door, essentially
Well he may have been right when he said
Ignorance is the most powerful force in the universe
-Real engineers can appreciate the vast differences between lunar and Martian environments and would understand that the technologies operating in each would have to be vastly different.

Regolith for instance is a major challenge that isn't encountered on Mars.

Fake engineers on the other hand will tend to blurt out anything that occurs to them and imbellish it with a few technical terms they don't understand in order to look knowledgeable.

Impossible on this site, but they don't appreciate this.
gkam
1 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2015
The full-pressure suits they used when I was in the service would not allow one to freely move around. The newer ones look better, but you cannot live in one.

The radiation will probably be the real killer. Without an atmosphere or magnetic field, any people will be neurologically fried or disabled in a short time.
gkam
1 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2015
Colonization will probably require long term-preparations, perhaps sending craft to start mining for water for dissociation into O2 and H2. In a few years, there could be both water and fuel resources there for the coming people. PV's can do it nicely, since the hard ultraviolet gets down to ground level, with high energy.
Mayday
not rated yet Jun 07, 2015
It seems that planetary systems are generally shooting galleries. We've been lucky. IMO, isolating a civilization to a single planet is foolish. Here are my suggested steps for Mars:
- detailed search for an easy way to get into the lava tubes and caverns below the surface. This could take decades, but will be worth it.
- send robot tunneling machines to create a livable space a safe depth below ground.
- send human to form a colony to better organize and manage more tunneling & building.
- repeat on all available planets and moons.
This will take force and discipline.
Questions: How much time are you willing to bet we have before the next big rock knocks the hubris of invulnerability off our civilization? 200 years? 1,000? And where do you want your progeny to be standing when that happens?
Mayday
not rated yet Jun 07, 2015
Couldn't edit! I meant humans. And not force, but focus!!! Focus!!!! Jeez, we used to be able to edit.
Sorry, sorry, sorry.
gkam
1 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2015
The idea was conveyed, and it is a good post.
Mimath224
not rated yet Jun 08, 2015
'..But according to Musk, the most likely scenario (at least for the foreseeable future) would involve an economy based on real estate. With human populations exploding all over Earth, a new destination that offers plenty of room to expand is going to look like a good investment. And once transportation issues are worked out, savvy investors are likely to start buying up land...'
I have a lot of faith in our scientist to sort out the problems of the journey and habitation of Mars, although it may take longer than thought here. However, the above quote, although expected, really makes me think that it won't be for human survival but for mere profit not to mention other forms of greed that will follow. How long will it be before we 'mess up Mars' too.
Don't mind me, chaps, moan..moan..moan.....
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2015
For starters, Mars and Earth have very similar lengths of days...same basic seasonal patterns

Those are THE most pointless argument, ever. Given that we'll need full enclosure and climate control in any case.

This too would work well when it comes to growing seasons

Pray, tell: Where's all the nitrogen going to come from? Growing just doesn't happen, you know? Atmospheric nitrogen fixing bacteria are out: because there is no nitrogen in the atmosphere of Mars. And getting the stuff from the soil is extremely energy intensive.

Preliminary experiments have shown that Mars soil could be baked into bricks to create protective structures,

I find this 'homestead on Mars' idea proposed in teh article far too romantic. Dig down. Melt into the ice. Much easier (and a lot more sensible from a radiation protection POV)

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2015
Naturally, these losses would be lower on the surface of Mars, where there is at least some gravity.

This is an error. Bone remodeling occurs only if there is a certain minimal stress on the bones (osteoblast activation). This means that 40% gravity will not be any better with respect to bone loss than zero gravity.

Using organisms...colonists could gradually convert much of the CO2 in the atmosphere into breathable oxygen.

Another fallacy. Just converting a bit of CO2 into O2 does not up the atmospheric pressure. the CO2 content on Mars is actually fine. It's the other 99% of the atmosphere that is missing.
Even if you 'terraform' to a perfect atmospheric composition : you can't breateh an atnmosphere that is only 1% as thin (and again: where does the nitrogen filler come from?)
That would be like standing on a mountain 35km high without an oxygen mask.

I really hate buzzword-sentences like "we just need to throw a bit of terraforming at it"
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2015
In the end the article (like all others on Mars colonization) is proposing "megastructure efforts"
("importing atmosphere from other planets"? Yeah, right...you and whose star cruiser fleet? Do these people even have an idea what kind of volume we're talking about here? The math ain't hard)

I think the real issue of whether we will colonize Mars or not will be detemined by another question:
How long will we keep these biological bodies without meddling with them (or replacing them altogether)?

That sort of tech seems much more on the horizon than largish scale interplanetary colonization/terraforming efforts.

And once we have bodies that are environment-indpendent there's no point in terraforming (or colonizing) anything at all.
Mimath224
not rated yet Jun 08, 2015
@antialias_physorg, (microbes and the like) yes I agree with you but I think what others are thinking of is that just because there are bacteria on Earth living in extreme conditions they could too on Mars. The point here that if this type of bacteria were found on Mars it would LIFE that had been found on Mars. Whether they would be of any use for Nitrogen fixing or other is quite another question. If I remember correctly in the 1970's several experiments in arid areas were only partly successful and I believe that even to date some of those areas produce zero...and that's right here on Earth.
EnricM
not rated yet Jun 08, 2015
Click-bait. No. Vastly greater expense than the Moon for a vanishing to marginal return.


The benefits that are listed are moot: Some comforting features are in no way a reason to spend a lot of cash and put live in peril just to go bake some bricks.

More interesting is it's place as an ideal space port close to the asteroid belts and midway between the outer solar system (hydrocarbons, etc) and the inner solar system (Mercury and heavy metals, Earth's human resource, etc).

But for now there is indeed no real benefit (and I mean $$$ not a comfy feeling)
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jun 08, 2015
If I remember correctly in the 1970's several experiments in arid areas were only partly successful

There's also plant respiration to consider. Plants use CO2 during photosynthesis to build sugars. At night plants metabolize these sugars (releasing CO2 in the process...A reason why it's not a good idea to keep plants in your bedroom). Gas exchange is also something that is dependent on pressure conditions. I'm not sure this gas exchange works just as hunky dory on Mars as it does on Earth give the atmospheric pressure is so low.

Low pressure (about 10% or Earth's) seems to dump plants into a drought response regime (killing them eventually). Some lichens may survive, but these aren't good as food sources. So any food would need to be grown in "high-pressure" greenhouse types with artificially augmented atmospheric conditions. If all grown food needs greenhouses then this severly limits colony size.
gkam
1 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2015
Biosphere II showed us how hard it is to support ourselves. All the more reason to treasure and protect our own life-support system, the Earth's environment.

We will not be living on Mars in my lifetime.

Let's go to the Moon, and put our radio antennae and telescopes on the far side, to block out interference and really see the Cosmos!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.