Is Life Possible On Mars ?


Mars has been a subject of interest to our scientists for many decades, especially due to the possibility of life on it. In 1965 NASA sent Mariner 4 Spacecraft for a flyby around Red Planet which completed its mission successfully. Since then many successful mission has been done on our neighboring planet. This includes four Mars rover named Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity. NASA has also sent Odyssey a spacecraft that has the capability of producing the map of the planet.

But is life really possible on Mars?
Is Mars going to be our next home?
Is it life-sustaining?
Let’s have a precise view.

Why Mars

Mars is one of the most familiar places in the solar system having almost 24-hour day cycles, mountain, valleys, even liquid water. With so much in common with Earth, we can think this could be a second home for the human race.

Water On Mars

A few billion years ago this planet was inhabited with large water bodies of water including lakes, rivers, and even an ocean. But the water discovered in October 2015 was almost negligible to what it once had. Scientists had discovered Hydrated Perchlorate Salt in the flow on the walls of craters, which gives the strongest evidence yet that water can be artificially created on this Red Planet. However, many other sources of water are still under investigation.

The presence of water doesn’t prove life on Mars, but it gives us a little scope that this planet could be home to some microorganism.

Hostile Environment

Mars is a violent inhospitable wasteland with nature firmly against it at every turn. From research this planet is dry. Moreover, it is freezing cold. On the hottest days on the hottest parts of the planet temperatures can reach as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s not even bad, but the average temperature of the planet is -52 degrees Fahrenheit and the dropping temperature at the pole of Mars can go up to -225 degree Fahrenheit.Most of the parts of the planet Mars is in frigid hostility.

However, humans can survive in cold climate. The average temperature in Antarctica is -57degreese Fahrenheit which is actually cooler than the average temperature of Mars and we have a sustainable camp in Antarctica. So although it is won’t be easy to stay warm on the surface of the Mars, it is technically possible with current technology but we will have to build a camp out there. And if all the peoples of Earth want to live on this planet, it is not possible.

Thin Atmosphere

Entering the atmosphere of Mars introduces a unique problem, the Martian atmosphere is extremely thin. This technically means that spacecraft entering this atmosphere will have less help to slow down as they descend to the surface. But the bigger problem is that this means that there is less oxygen to breathe.

In Fact, the atmosphere of this planet has about only 0.14% oxygen compared to the 21% present on Earth. However, there is a solution to this problem. There is a chemical called Perchlorate is found in high concentration on Mars. This compound contains 1 chlorine atom and 4 oxygen atom, the two oxygen atoms can be used as a source of possible breathable air for the astronaut inside the habitat.

Radiation

One of the biggest dangers for anyone living on Mars is radiation. Because the Earth has an active iron core a strong magnetic field is generated. This magnetic field protects the planet Earth from harmful radiation not only from the sun but also from violent distant activity in deep space. Unfortunately, Mars has almost no magnetic field. So it is completely exposed to the radiation from the space.

You can imagine the radiation in space by knowing that, during the 180 days journey to Mars the astronaut absorb the same level of radiation as a nuclear power plant worker will absorb in a 15-year career. On the planet Mars, they still get a low dose of radiation which increases the threat of cancer. Ever the crew working on International Space Station with advanced shielding technology poses a great risk of radiation.

Can We Live On Mars

Until we get new technology for the shielding of radiation, living on Mars will have to be scaled back only to short visits.

It isn’t until you look at Mars a seemingly earth-like planet you realize just how narrow the habitability zone for humans actually is. Although we have the technology to get humans to this planet which is one and half time further away from the sun than Earth and 225 million kilometers from Earth with toxic soil, a scarce water supply and dust storm the size of North America, you will have to question whether it is even worth it.

In the next 20-30 years the technology will be in place to help support human life on the planet, but today it is simply too far away and too hostile for a sustainable human colony on the Red Planet.

Sorry, but we will have to wait a little bit longer and even then we can’t all live on this planet.
At last, Earth is what we have got.

See Also: Why NASA never returned on Moon?

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