There is a lot of interest brewing about human Mars exploration and settlement. Are we prepared for a mission like this?
Buzz Aldrin, as many people know, is one of the first men to walk on the Moon. Neil Armstrong being the first and Buzz being the second man to set foot on the Moon’s surface. Mr. Aldrin wants the next generation of scientists, engineers, and astronauts to aim for Mars. He also wants to inspire more young people to explore these types of careers. I would have to agree with Buzz on this one. After all many of these jobs pay well. Software and hardware engineering jobs are among the top salary jobs.
These are the types of people that are needed to make a human Mars mission possible. One of the main constraints of getting humans on Mars has been a low NASA budget from the federal government. This hasn’t stopped people like Buzz from advocating human Mars missions.
Another individual very passionate about human Mars settlement is Robert Zubrin. Robert has dedicated a large amount of his life advocating human missions to Mars. In his book, titled “The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must” he outlines how we could travel to Mars on a smaller budget while still insuring safety and success of that mission. He outlines the engineering required to make a Mars mission happen. Both Robert Zubrin and Buzz Aldrin share an interest in inspiring the next generation and the current generation of engineers, scientists, and astronauts to be a part of this cause.
There are other constraints that many people have pointed out such as the difficulty to make Mars habitable. Scientists are exploring how to grow plants on Mars soil. A very important resource to sustain human life on mars will be water. Water was found on Mars but it is still unknown how much water may be on Mars. Some scientists hope for underwater reservoirs that we might tap into and establish water wells. There is also a need to store oxygen and build structures for people to live in. The list goes on for all the requirements to make Mars settlement successful.
There are also psychological constraints as well. It is still debated whether those people that settle Mars could remain mentally sound or not as they will be without their family. Many psychologists who are in support of a Mars mission have suggested we insure that communication can happen between astronauts and their family and friends back on Earth. Unfortunately their would be a communication delay form Earth to Mars. It is estimated that when Earth is closest to mars it will take at least 20 minutes for a message to reach from planet to planet. However this may not be a problem. Just like we have voice mail today we could also send video messages back and forth. Despite the time delay psychologists suggest this would really help the mental well being of astronauts on Mars.
There are many problems to solve and questions to answer. Tell us below what you think about human Mars exploration and settlement. Is it possible? Are we ready?