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Is it Possible to Live on Mars?



Humans once had a dream to send objects into space. Then we wanted to land on the moon. Next we wanted to explore the solar system. We’ve hit milestone after milestone, and with each mission we learn the necessary skills to move on to the next. Now, our dream is even more ambitious. Now, we want to go to Mars. Simply landing humans on the red planet would be a feat in and of itself. But what if we wanted to live there?



1. Mars doesn’t exactly have a temperate climate.
The average temperature on Earth hovers around 60 degrees F. On Mars, however, the average is negative 80 degrees. Not exactly comparable. Humans are no strangers to extreme conditions, of course, so we could absolutely bring the right technology to adapt and be able to survive.



2. UV rays have no filter.
On Earth, we’re protected from UV rays by our atmosphere. Even then, of course, some get in. Mars, on the other hand, has no such protective atmosphere. Damaging UV rays make it right down to the surface, and the shorter wavelengths in particular are the most abundant. Those just happen to be the ones that are the most biologically harmful. To live on Mars, we would need to be able to protect ourselves from these rays, which we can already do with astronauts on the ISS.

3. Humans require oxygen.
We’ve adapted to our oxygen-rich atmosphere, and living anywhere else is pretty difficult. If we want to live on Mars, we’ll have to bring our own atmosphere. Most of Mars’ atmosphere is made up of carbon dioxide. Only 0.16% is oxygen. We’ve been able to solve this in spacesuits and the ISS already, so transporting that technology to another planet and improving upon it is entirely possible.
 
Jan 17, 2020
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There is one matter regarding living on Mars that seems to have been overlooked entirely, on all the discussions I read.
Humans have evolved on this planet, and their body systems use the planets natural electromagnetic frequency of around 8 Hz to function. Even in orbit, humans are within the planets magnetosphere.
Some decades ago, experiments were carried out where people were placed in underground environments with no contact with the surface, to see the results. They seemed to settle down to a 25 hour day approximately, with no other problems.
However, when a group were placed in a Faraday cage, after a few weeks, their body systems started to go haywire!
Therefore, something to produce a similar effect on Mars, will have to be constructed to replace that missing electromagnetic influence, for settlers to remain healthy.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Even if humanity reaches such a level of technology that will give a chance to live on Mars, it will still take several thousand years for people to adapt to life on this planet. Even if this is the case, the descendants of the current colonialists (if this is possible soon) will already create technologies for terraforming this planet.

But by my standards, first of all, we need to let Mars heat up through the greenhouse effect through the creation of enterprises.

Next, we need to somehow restore the magnetosphere of Mars to protect it from ultraviolet radiation.

The following is the delivery of algae to Mars for the production of oxygen. In my opinion, it will take about 100 years to fulfill all points.
There is one matter regarding living on Mars that seems to have been overlooked entirely, on all the discussions I read.
Humans have evolved on this planet, and their body systems use the planets natural electromagnetic frequency of around 8 Hz to function. Even in orbit, humans are within the planets magnetosphere.
Some decades ago, experiments were carried out where people were placed in underground environments with no contact with the surface, to see the results. They seemed to settle down to a 25 hour day approximately, with no other problems.
However, when a group were placed in a Faraday cage, after a few weeks, their body systems started to go haywire!
Therefore, something to produce a similar effect on Mars, will have to be constructed to replace that missing electromagnetic influence, for settlers to remain healthy.
 
Oct 23, 2020
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I don`t think it`s possible now. It`s difficult to talk about Mars colonization because we don`t even know how to take the appropriate amount of petrol to get there. Living there is really problematic because- of the harsh environment and high level of radiation.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Yes you are right. The technology is too weak to do anything. It only remains to hope that a breakthrough will soon be made in some area, which will approach us to the conquest of Mars.
I don`t think it`s possible now. It`s difficult to talk about Mars colonization because we don`t even know how to take the appropriate amount of petrol to get there. Living there is really problematic because- of the harsh environment and high level of radiation.
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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Even if humanity reaches such a level of technology that will give a chance to live on Mars, it will still take several thousand years for people to adapt to life on this planet. Even if this is the case, the descendants of the current colonialists (if this is possible soon) will already create technologies for terraforming this planet.

But by my standards, first of all, we need to let Mars heat up through the greenhouse effect through the creation of enterprises.

Next, we need to somehow restore the magnetosphere of Mars to protect it from ultraviolet radiation.

The following is the delivery of algae to Mars for the production of oxygen. In my opinion, it will take about 100 years to fulfil all points.
You are a deluded optimist.
The alleged greenhouse effect is a political myth, that has not happened on this planet even when CO2 levels were 17 times present, and therefore cannot happen on Mars. In addition the Atmosphere on Mars is almost totally CO2, the alleged cause of the greenhouse effect on this planet, and it has had zero greenhouse effect there.
The adaption of life in its totality, from which human life originated, on this planet took hundreds of millions of years, or even billions. so your estimate for life to adapt to Mars is a fantasy.
To ''restore'' the magnetosphere on Mars would require complete reconstruction of the planet, which is impossible.
One of the considered causes of the lack of oxygen on Mars, is its low gravity, that cannot be changed, so producing oxygen on Mars surface would be like trying to fill a colander with water, utterly futile!
 
Nov 26, 2020
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You are a deluded optimist.
The alleged greenhouse effect is a political myth, that has not happened on this planet even when CO2 levels were 17 times present, and therefore cannot happen on Mars. In addition the Atmosphere on Mars is almost totally CO2, the alleged cause of the greenhouse effect on this planet, and it has had zero greenhouse effect there.
The adaption of life in its totality, from which human life originated, on this planet took hundreds of millions of years, or even billions. so your estimate for life to adapt to Mars is a fantasy.
To ''restore'' the magnetosphere on Mars would require complete reconstruction of the planet, which is impossible.
One of the considered causes of the lack of oxygen on Mars, is its low gravity, that cannot be changed, so producing oxygen on Mars surface would be like trying to fill a colander with water, utterly futile!
I understand perfectly well that the * greenhouse effect * is used in the political and economic spheres (thus preventing weak countries from developing), as well as for money laundering. But nevertheless, the atmosphere of Mars is very rarefied and in order to raise the level of life on it, it must be denser. And without CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, this is impossible. Therefore, if the atmosphere of Mars is denser then oxygen will be able to stay on it
 
Jan 17, 2020
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I understand perfectly well that the * greenhouse effect * is used in the political and economic spheres (thus preventing weak countries from developing), as well as for money laundering. But nevertheless, the atmosphere of Mars is very rarefied and in order to raise the level of life on it, it must be denser. And without CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, this is impossible. Therefore, if the atmosphere of Mars is denser then oxygen will be able to stay on it
My Last Paragraph:
''One of the considered causes of the lack of oxygen on Mars, is its low gravity, that cannot be changed, so producing oxygen on Mars surface would be like trying to fill a colander with water, utterly futile! ''
In addition, the main component of our planets atmosphere is nitrogen. Without it, you would get a total conflagration, the moment there was a lightning strike, of any sort, and the whole planets surface would burn to a cinder! (Like the unfortunate astronauts in the Apollo program.)
The main component that makes the atmosphere on this planet denser is GRAVITY, so, I repeat: as the gravity on Mars cannot be changed, the atmospheres density cannot be changed.
The only way people will survive on Mars, is in pressurised habitations, underground, to protect from radiation. Anything else is optimistic science fiction.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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My Last Paragraph:
''One of the considered causes of the lack of oxygen on Mars, is its low gravity, that cannot be changed, so producing oxygen on Mars surface would be like trying to fill a colander with water, utterly futile! ''
In addition, the main component of our planets atmosphere is nitrogen. Without it, you would get a total conflagration, the moment there was a lightning strike, of any sort, and the whole planets surface would burn to a cinder! (Like the unfortunate astronauts in the Apollo program.)
The main component that makes the atmosphere on this planet denser is GRAVITY, so, I repeat: as the gravity on Mars cannot be changed, the atmospheres density cannot be changed.
The only way people will survive on Mars, is in pressurised habitations, underground, to protect from radiation. Anything else is optimistic science fiction.
In this case, if Mars disappears, then only Venus remains. But first it will need to be cooled. I think the best option would be to drop ice asteroids on it. Or install the solar screen at the Lagrange point between Venus and the Sun. Of course this is a very laborious process and almost impossible. But the easiest way would be to simply drop the hydrogen bomb. What do you think about this?
 
Jan 17, 2020
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In this case, if Mars disappears, then only Venus remains. But first it will need to be cooled. I think the best option would be to drop ice asteroids on it. Or install the solar screen at the Lagrange point between Venus and the Sun. Of course this is a very laborious process and almost impossible. But the easiest way would be to simply drop the hydrogen bomb. What do you think about this?
I think you are living in a fantasy cloud cuckoo land.
Venus is hot because it was probably a lump of material ejected from Jupiter, when it was his by a massive comet/meteor, which is why the ''big red spot'' exists.
(Not just because it is closer to the sun.)
Because it is so hot, the atmosphere cannot condense onto the surface.
So any ice asteroids would just join the rest of the water in its atmosphere.
The rest is just cuckoo land stuff.
 
Nov 2, 2020
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I have read something about the production of oxigen, and I, with my weak and maybe few knowledges in matter, want to reply. This is only my thought and I don't speak about other problems: we can bring from our planet few soil and some plants that are able to stay in the most difficult enviroments; then, thanks to the greenhouses we put the plants on there in order to protect them form the very cold envroment, and in the meanwhile they provide oxigen to us. Obiously we have to do this in all the places of mars' soil...
 

COLGeek

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Apr 3, 2020
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I think you are living in a fantasy cloud cuckoo land.
Venus is hot because it was probably a lump of material ejected from Jupiter, when it was his by a massive comet/meteor, which is why the ''big red spot'' exists.
(Not just because it is closer to the sun.)
Because it is so hot, the atmosphere cannot condense onto the surface.
So any ice asteroids would just join the rest of the water in its atmosphere.
The rest is just cuckoo land stuff.
I assume "cuckoo land" means not realistic. Correct? Let us be careful with labels, please.
 
Dec 29, 2019
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Given all those satellites that are providing high quality data consistent with, if not directly observing real world GHG driven global warming - and not one that shows it isn't happening - why Space.com attracts people who choose to believe mainstream science is engaged in malevolent grand conspiracy eludes me. Earth observation, including weather and climate, has been a jewel in the crown of space science and technology.

This is not the place for arguing about climate change - but I want to be clear that I take the decades of consistent top level expert advice seriously and expect my elected government and people in positions of trust and responsibility to do so as well. And I think it is dangerously irresponsible and negligent for them to fail to do so.

For Mars the atmosphere is way too thin for the greenhouse effect to warm it. Transforming/terraforming Mars is so far beyond our capabilities as to genuinely rate the adjective "impossible". If anyone gets to live on Mars they will live within artificial habitats.

I don't doubt people could live on Mars - Earth's globally connected industrialised economy is capable of making the technology required - but at enormous cost. What I seriously doubt is that people on Mars would be capable of making the technology required; it would take a large, globally connected industrialised economy on Mars for that. Until then there is no potential for viable interplanetary trade to support Mars colonists paying for importing what they need; it is going to fail to thrive.
 
Jan 17, 2020
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I have read something about the production of oxigen, and I, with my weak and maybe few knowledges in matter, want to reply. This is only my thought and I don't speak about other problems: we can bring from our planet few soil and some plants that are able to stay in the most difficult enviroments; then, thanks to the greenhouses we put the plants on there in order to protect them form the very cold envroment, and in the meanwhile they provide oxigen to us. Obiously we have to do this in all the places of mars' soil...
I consider the only way man can live on Mars, is sealed in totally artificial environment, underground, to protect from the radiation, from the cold, and the lack of a breathable atmosphere.
That would apply to plants as well.
You have to Imagine Antarctica, without air, or water, and bombarded by cosmic rays, and solar radiation.
Any Earth life forms exposed to that would perish rather rapidly.
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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Given all those satellites that are providing high quality data consistent with, if not directly observing real world GHG driven global warming - and not one that shows it isn't happening - why Space.com attracts people who choose to believe mainstream science is engaged in malevolent grand conspiracy eludes me. Earth observation, including weather and climate, has been a jewel in the crown of space science and technology.

This is not the place for arguing about climate change - but I want to be clear that I take the decades of consistent top level expert advice seriously and expect my elected government and people in positions of trust and responsibility to do so as well. And I think it is dangerously irresponsible and negligent for them to fail to do so.

For Mars the atmosphere is way too thin for the greenhouse effect to warm it. Transforming/terraforming Mars is so far beyond our capabilities as to genuinely rate the adjective "impossible". If anyone gets to live on Mars they will live within artificial habitats.

I don't doubt people could live on Mars - Earth's globally connected industrialised economy is capable of making the technology required - but at enormous cost. What I seriously doubt is that people on Mars would be capable of making the technology required; it would take a large, globally connected industrialised economy on Mars for that. Until then there is no potential for viable interplanetary trade to support Mars colonists paying for importing what they need; it is going to fail to thrive.
I totally agree with your conclusions regarding Mars habitation and colonisation, but with one comment. 3d printing is in its infancy, but, providing the required materials could be obtained, a global manufacturing base would not be required, when it has matured. Mining and converting the ores and materials required would be a bigger challenge.

Afterthought;
(Maybe by then, autonomous mining robots will have been developed.)

However, politicians are well known to be liars, governments are formed from politicians, so governments are also liars. Never trust a government!
As for climate change, there is no doubt that it is changing, it is the alleged cause, ie. anthropogenic CO2, that is a political Myth/Lie!
Simply; the planets atmospheric CO2, has varied from 7000 ppm the the present low of around 400 ppm over the past 600 million years. During that time CO2 has never affected the climate, therefor, the approximately 40 ppm produced presently by human activity, cannot have any effect.
In fact, the exact opposite of the CO2 = Global warming has occurred, for periods of millions of years.
So as the observed facts do not support the theory, the theory/myth fails.
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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I assume "cuckoo land" means not realistic. Correct? Let us be careful with labels, please.
I apologise, I'm suffering from the ''grumpy old man'' syndrome, and due to a recent personal tragedy, (death) am inclined to be rather short tempered at the moment.
 

COLGeek

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Apr 3, 2020
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I apologise, I'm suffering from the ''grumpy old man'' syndrome, and due to a recent personal tragedy, (death) am inclined to be rather short tempered at the moment.
I suffer the same affliction on occasion. No worries....Now, get off my grass! ;)
 
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Nov 3, 2020
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Given all those satellites that are providing high quality data consistent with, if not directly observing real world GHG driven global warming - and not one that shows it isn't happening - why Space.com attracts people who choose to believe mainstream science is engaged in malevolent grand conspiracy eludes me. Earth observation, including weather and climate, has been a jewel in the crown of space science and technology.

This is not the place for arguing about climate change - but I want to be clear that I take the decades of consistent top level expert advice seriously and expect my elected government and people in positions of trust and responsibility to do so as well. And I think it is dangerously irresponsible and negligent for them to fail to do so.

For Mars the atmosphere is way too thin for the greenhouse effect to warm it. Transforming/terraforming Mars is so far beyond our capabilities as to genuinely rate the adjective "impossible". If anyone gets to live on Mars they will live within artificial habitats.

I don't doubt people could live on Mars - Earth's globally connected industrialised economy is capable of making the technology required - but at enormous cost. What I seriously doubt is that people on Mars would be capable of making the technology required; it would take a large, globally connected industrialised economy on Mars for that. Until then there is no potential for viable interplanetary trade to support Mars colonists paying for importing what they need; it is going to fail to thrive.
At the moment, natural life on Mars is not possible. I understand that there is a forum about facts and real events, but let's dive a little deeper into the theoretical possibilities. After all, not every one of us here is an engineer and is well versed in the capabilities of the aerospace industry. Perhaps in 20, 50, 100 years mankind will make an unreal breakthrough and we will be able to create an artificial atmosphere on other planets and gradually colonize them. Yes, my fantasies are inspired by sci-fi films, but isn't it in fantasies that we find new ideas and solutions?
 
Jan 17, 2020
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At the moment, natural life on Mars is not possible. I understand that there is a forum about facts and real events, but let's dive a little deeper into the theoretical possibilities. After all, not every one of us here is an engineer and is well versed in the capabilities of the aerospace industry. Perhaps in 20, 50, 100 years mankind will make an unreal breakthrough and we will be able to create an artificial atmosphere on other planets and gradually colonize them. Yes, my fantasies are inspired by sci-fi films, but isn't it in fantasies that we find new ideas and solutions?
There is a saying, that, ''anything the human mind can encompass, then humanity will eventually realise it.''
The question is, WHEN?
Arthur C Clark, had expected humanity to be far more advanced by now, regarding space, than is the fact.
eg, 2001 A Space Odyssey . Here we are in 2020, and nowhere near realising that situation. and probably will not be for many years yet.
 
Nov 2, 2020
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I consider the only way man can live on Mars, is sealed in totally artificial environment, underground, to protect from the radiation, from the cold, and the lack of a breathable atmosphere.
That would apply to plants as well.
You have to Imagine Antarctica, without air, or water, and bombarded by cosmic rays, and solar radiation.
Any Earth life forms exposed to that would perish rather rapidly.
What if do we create some very big greenhouses capable to host us? I mean, if we build some greenhouses that are able to protect us and the plants from cold and radiations, can we live on Mars without problems? This could be a possibility in my opinion...
 
Jan 17, 2020
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What if do we create some very big greenhouses capable to host us? I mean, if we build some greenhouses that are able to protect us and the plants from cold and radiations, can we live on Mars without problems? This could be a possibility in my opinion...
A greenhouse is designed to allow radiation to pass through, into it.
Therefore it cannot protect you from cosmic rays or the damaging rays from the sun.
If they block radiation, they cannot function as greenhouses.
The solar energy, on Mars, in the range that Earth plants need, is too weak to grow food plants.
Most wont grow on this planet in winter, because the solar energy reaching them is too low, on Mars it is considerably less.
Mars is TOTALLY uninhabitable!
Therefore, the only way to live there is a totally artificial environment.
Underground provides protection from radiation, the Antarctic cold, and the enormous sand storms that occur frequently, and would quickly destroy any above ground habitats. The Antarctic cold only exists on the equator, elsewhere, it is much colder, and at the poles, even CO2 freezes.
Only about 2 1/2 % of the Earths surface area is inhabited.
Therefore it makes far more sense, for a long time to come, to make more habitable the parts of this planet that are not.
If people want to live elsewhere, then Space stations, in the same orbit around the sun as the Earth makes more sense, as they would be in the best solar zone for Earth life.
It would still require a totally artificial environment, but the gravity could be engineered to be the same as Earth gravity, by rotation, which could not be done on Mars.
A water jacket would act as a radiation shield, an insulation, and supply water to the inhabitants. This could be supplied from ice asteroids, as could the materials to build the space stations.
Solar power would be plentiful, and unattenuated by an atmosphere.
This would ensure survival of the species, should there be a total catastrophe on the planet.
However, an isolated survival was tried in ''Earth 2'' experiment, some years ago, that failed miserably. The technological and environmental requirements are still an unknown quantity.
Mars is a, ''Red Herring''! (deliberate pun!)
 
Nov 2, 2020
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A greenhouse is designed to allow radiation to pass through, into it.
Therefore it cannot protect you from cosmic rays or the damaging rays from the sun.
If they block radiation, they cannot function as greenhouses.
This is a problem, a very high problem. Maybe you're right, we cannot live on Mars unless underground, here the radiations cannot reach us, as you said.
A water jacket would act as a radiation shield, an insulation, and supply water to the inhabitants. This could be supplied from ice asteroids, as could the materials to build the space stations.
There is also this problem that I didn' take even in account, but I don't think that it is solvable as you say, with ice asteroids. It isn't an amount sure that is in arrival every time at the same period. Many thanks again!
 
Jan 17, 2020
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This is a problem, a very high problem. Maybe you're right, we cannot live on Mars unless underground, here the radiations cannot reach us, as you said.

There is also this problem that I didn' take even in account, but I don't think that it is solvable as you say, with ice asteroids. It isn't an amount sure that is in arrival every time at the same period. Many thanks again!
Water is used to contain radioactive material, to prevent radiation reaching habitation/people, so a water jacket around a space station would be effective. It would also act as an insulator, against heat loss, and act as the general water supply. It could be purified by filtering, and any bacteria destroyed, by exposing it to unfiltered solar radiation.
Icy asteroids are known to exist, but it would be a significant engineering problem to remove them from their present orbit, and relocate them in the same solar orbit as the Earth, but not unsolvable, just expensive. It would be far cheaper than trying to supply water from the Earth. In fact it may be possible to even supply the Earth with water from space, but maybe not practical.
(It would be more practical to tow icebergs into natural harbours, and then pipe water from them to irrigate desert areas. This would also prevent the destruction of the land by salination, that occurs when using river, or artesian water, as Icebergs are, effectively, distilled water. )
 
Dec 29, 2019
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isn't it in fantasies that we find new ideas and solutions?
''anything the human mind can encompass, then humanity will eventually realise it.''
I don't think so. Not many fantasies become reality. Only a small subset of fantasies are capable of becoming real. We are quite capable of imagining things that don't and will not and cannot ever exist and the ones that can become real do so for tangible (economic/security/defense) reasons. There are real limits that no amount of imagination can overcome. We don't necessarily know where all those limits are yet - but some big ones are quite well known and as science progresses closer to a true and complete understanding of the universe we inhabit it becomes increasingly possible to know beforehand if something imaginary is possible. New knowledge can open up new possibilities but it can and does close off imaginary possibilities that are not based in reality.
 
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