1. Its Similarity to Earth
Mars has water, frozen underground and at the polar caps. There is evidence that this water has, in the past and present, flooded the surface in liquid form. Signs of erosion can be found on the slopes of craters and volcanoes. Geological features resembling those on Earth suggest that Mars was once a wet and hospitable planet. A day on Mars is 24.5 hours long. Mars is a third the size of Earth, but it has as much land area as the seven continents combined. Its gravity is 2.7 times less than that of Earth: enough to remain flat-footed on the surface, but a low enough escape velocity to make launching from Mars relatively simple.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
The Martian: Space Colonies
This is one of the best films of the year. Don't miss it.
Watch the movie segment and prepare yourself for a debate about the colonization of Mars by humans.
Divide the class into two groups. One group - A - will be responsible to defending the idea of the colonization of Mars. The other group - B - will be against it.
Group A - Read the argumentation that supports the endeavor.
Group B - Read the argumentation against the endeavor.
Pros: (adapted from this awesome site - Don't miss it!
Adapted from this informative site. It is worth visiting. I learned a lot there.
You would agree that the center of Antarctica in winter is cold, not the best of places to set up home? Well Mars is far colder. At the Curiosity site, which is close to the equator, typical night time temperatures are -70 °C. Occasionally it drops to below -100 °C. It is often cold enough for the CO2 in the atmosphere to freeze out as dry ice. A human couldn't survive those temperatures without technology.
Mars does have an atmosphere, but it is so thin it would count as a laboratory vacuum on Earth.
A human would need to put on a spacesuit to survive the low pressure, never mind the lack of oxygen. The pressure is so low, your saliva and the moisture coating the interior of your lungs would boil.
3. Dust and Dust storms
Every Martian summer, roughly every two Earth years, you get a higher chance of global dust storms. These can last for weeks, and the light from the sun drops by over 99%. During the dust storms, then artificial light is needed in middle of the day to grow crops, and you won't be able to see anything. Solar power won't work.
4. Hard to make self sufficient - need for parts and supplies from Earth
There are lots of resources available on Mars. Mining on Mars will be hard to do, as hard as in space. You still need to use space suits because of the vacuum conditions. And however much you can make from native Mars materials, at least at present levels of technology, then many components and replacement parts will have to come from Earth.