SpaceX, the private space exploration company, operating under the leadership of Elon Musk, is already working on its plans to take humanity to Mars. Musk believes that the long-term sustenance of humans depends on its ability to create a multiplanetary habitat. Although current technologies and equipment may be able to take humans to mars, but Elon Musk actually wants people to live there, permanently as a colony. This is where the challenges begin.
The Future of Humanity for Elon Musk
Elon Musk believes that humans must become an interplanetary species, as the Earth is likely to become uninhabitable in the distant future. Even though it may take several thousand years to reach the inevitable fate, but he thinks that we as a species should prepare for our survival as early as possible. Elon Musk privatized space travel by building the company, SpaceX. It is constantly working on new technologies and performing test runs to achieve more feasible interplanetary travel.
In the pursuit of making humanity an interplanetary species, Elon Musk wants to start with closest potentially habitable planet, which is Mars. The grand scheme of Musk is to create a self-sustaining colony of humans on Mars. So, the challenge of SpaceX is not just to safely transport people on Mars, but also to create a colony, with food and shelter. He has explicitly mentioned that during the initial phase of colonization, supplies may need to be sent from Earth, but the primary goal is to create a community where people can live sustainably by the resources gathered from the planet.
The Roadmap to Mars
The life on Mars will be completely different from how we live here on Earth. As the red planet will try every possible way to eliminate life, humans will have to rely deeply on advanced technology to survive. Unlike science fiction movies and comics, it won’t be a pleasurable experience at all. Forget about ordering pizzas, booking movies or calling for essay writer service. It will be extremely challenging during the initial phases, as humans need to rewrite their social customs and daily routines.
However, Elon Musk has a roadmap planned out. In a recent SpaceX event, Elon Musk has confidently stated his company, SpaceX will be able take people on Mars by 2026, which is actually not very far. So, in less than six years, humans are going to be an interplanetary species? Well, not quite. The immediate plan is to send people on Mars and build a basic infrastructure that can support long term residence of a small group of people. The Starship rocket that the company is currently working on, should be able to take required cargo and 100 people at a time.
It has been theorized by Musk, that it would take 1000 rocket ships and several million tons to cargo to create a self-sustaining life on Mars. He wants to launch the reusable spaceships at a rate of 1000 flights per year, which should stock 100,000 tons of cargo. These 1000 spaceships can also carry a 100,000 people per orbital sync.
The Key Challenges and Potential Solutions
The atmosphere of Mars is not at all life sustaining, is much thinner than that of Earth and mostly composed on carbon dioxide. So, life has to sustain within glass domes, creating bubbles of isolated environment where humans can live without a space suit. All the shelters will be built within these glass domes. So, needless to say that life on Mars will be quite restricted in several ways.
The mars environment cannot natively grow plants and crops, unless they are grown in artificial environment. In order to achieve long term sustenance, solar powered farms will be built, which should be able to grow necessary crops for basic survival. However, scientists need to figure out which plants are most likely to survive on mars soil and climate and how they can be cultivated there. My paper writing help has also suggested that in large scale, it is not possible to grow every plant because most of them require insects for pollination and development of fruits. Therefore, the key challenge is to create a sustainable source of every nutrients and vitamins that a human body need.
Mining and excavation will also play a crucial role in the process of creating self-sustaining communities. In order to build shelter and other equipment, people need to be able to mine minerals and convert them into usable materials. Musk has discussed about building machines that can build other machines. This should, in theory, help build other machines which cannot be transported via the spaceships.
Another problem, which no one is actually taking about is the dangerous UV rays of the sun. While writing my paper for me on Mars environment, I found that it lacks the ozone layer, that we have on Earth, protecting us from the lethal UV rays. So, people living there cannot directly expose themselves to the sunlight. The glass domes need to have strong UV filters on them so that the people who just overcame hunger do not die from cancer.
Long Term Plans: Terraforming
If you think, the plan to launch thousands of tons cargos to Mars is insane, then you should really hear Musk’s long-term plan to terraform the planet. Terraforming refers to the process of creating earth-like environment of a different planet. Musk has proposed that nuking the ice caps of Mars to create an Earth-like environment. Yes, you read that right, he wants to detonate nuclear bombs on Mars. The feasibility and success of this process is highly questionable. Even though, you create an artificial environment, the weaker gravity cannot hold it to the planet. However, only time will tell, how much of these goals can be achieved and at what price.