(Yes, I know Mars doesn’t even remotely resemble my creation but my artistic skills aren’t great and a model will provide consistency for future images)
Mars. A planet we call neighbour sitting about 55,000,000 km away from us (We still haven’t been invited over for a barbeque though). Barren and uninhabitable, why we would even consider going
Earth has served humanity exceptionally well. However, 7.5 billion people do place a considerable strain on a planet already suffering the repercussions of humanity’s idiocy (Which is putting it lightly, in my opinion…). Global Warming and a whole host of other problems are driving our planet to its limits and a growing population isn’t helping (Pessimism aside, we do seem to be heading in the right direction in terms of tackling the problems we’ve caused. Slowly…).
As it stands, Mars does offer us a chance, though slim, to try and correct our mistakes. Noted, there are steps that should be made before we fire off to Mars. First on the list would be making it 100% clear with every single person on this planet that when Earth buckles it’s taking us with it and that installing solutions that can deal with these problems (Which we can do, if we just move past our petty squabbling and focus on our home) are important. However, Mars is a variable that could be considered for taking pressure of our planet.
Human beings are an intelligent bunch (Despite mistakes some make). We have already sent up a number of satellites, probes and rovers to explore the surface of the planet that has allowed us to make some headway on our understanding of our celestial neighbour.
However, imagine what sending humans to Mars for an extended period could do in terms of increasing our understanding of the red planet. For starters, the effects that Mars has on those sent would be essential if a Martian colony was to be established (That sounded more sinister than what I actually meant…). Whilst up there, humans could conduct tests on Mars that rovers can’t achieve. An adventure into the mysteries of Mars can only serve to boost humanity’s understanding of the planet.
The prospect of exploring other planets is one that arguably excites all of us (I imagine most of have, at some point in our lives, wanted to be astronauts). The Universe is enormous so it is natural to want to see what is actually out there. However, we are challenged technologically so our aspirations are somewhat restricted.
With that in mind, Mars is the best option for actually staging a landing on another planet. Venus is closer to home than Mars but it comes with the added challenge of being closer to the Sun and being covered in a cloud of sulphuric acid. Mars isn’t close, by any means, but it offers us the opportunity to actually land on the surface and explore.
Establishing a colony on Mars would be one of heck of an achievement for the 21st century, one that would be remembered for the rest of humanity’s existence. Who knows, the prospect of such a momentous achievement may even unite us. One can dream…
Mars is closer to the edge of the solar system than Earth is. If we were to establish a sizeable colony on Mars, there is an opportunity to continue our journey into mystery from Mars. There may already be a need for space port on Mars if the colony was to maintain steady contact with Earth so what’s to say we couldn’t use it to go even further?
Mars offers us the opportunity to challenge the limits of human civilization and enter a new era in humanity’s history. Say what you will about space travel but the prospect of such an adventure really excites me. My list is far from exhaustive but I think I have covered the big ones. If you have any suggestions for other reasons, questions or thoughts then please feel free to leave them in the comments. Thank you.