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Living on Mars

evan

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Population concerns on Earth are leading scientists to inquire whether colonizing Mars is possible. As of now, over 78,000 people have applied to leave Earth forever and live on Mars. Mars One, a nonprofit organization, is sponsoring the colonization with a take-off date sometime in 2023. Out of the applicant pool, four will be chosen to send first to Mars. The first four will lay the groundwork for a permanent colony. Two years after the first four land, Mars One would send up more people to the colony. With the application process underway, it seems as though scientists have discovered ways for humans to survive on Mars indefinitely. However, this is not the case. Many, many concerns exist such as how will the colonists feed themselves? Will crops which grow on the Earth also grow on Mars?

The first settlers of Mars will most likely be farmers. Yes, they will be astronauts; but, if survival is of any importance to them, they will learn to farm in order to eat. Research which has been conducted supports the idea that growing crops is possible in microgravity. However, those working for NASA do not know to what extent the gravity of Mars will effect crop growth. Also, Mars' surface only receives about half of the sunlight that the Earth's surface receives. Will plants be able to grow with limited sunlight? On top of the already limited sunlight, pressurized greenhouses would be necessary to grow crops. The greenhouses would block out more light. So, additional light would be necessary from other sources than the sun. What would power additional light sources? How would that power be generated and sustained?

Radiation would also be a problem faced by those on Mars. Mars does not have as strong of an atmosphere as the Earth. More radiation reaches the surface of Mars than the surface of the Earth. Inhabitants would need a way to reflect the radiation or shield themselves from the rays.

To live on Mars, man must master the art of agriculture in microgravity. Feeding the inhabitants of Mars is one among many more necessary tasks of survival. As of now, research is still being conducted. The 78,000 who have already showed interest in living on Mars are a bit stupid or extremely bold. With current technology man would not survive on Mars. I do not doubt though that technology will develop in the near future for man to successfully live on Mars.



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