Elon Musk Reveals The Real Problem Of Living on Mars: SpaceX is getting closer to getting to Mars as it tests prototypes of its massive Starship nearly every month. It aims to fly an unmanned mission to the Red Planet in early 2024.
CEO Elon Musk has said that he is confident that people will land on Mars in 2026. Just two years after NASA’s goal of sending astronauts back to the Moon is a pretty ambitious timeline in itself. If and when Starship takes off with passengers, it will be a journey not only for those with money but for those with guts.
It’s dangerous, it’s uncomfortable. Going to Mars feels like an advertisement for Shackleton going to Antarctica. This is a reference to the famous Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton, who is said to have put this ad in a newspaper to recruit brave souls to face the bitter cold of the Antarctic.
Just as the conditions in Antarctica are difficult and dangerous, the atmosphere of Mars will not be hospitable. To be honest, many people may have died in the beginning. It’s tough sledding over there.
He believes the hard sledding is worth trying to colonize Mars if he says anything was going to happen to planet Earth. Before we talk about the challenges of living on Mars, it will be quite difficult to reach there.
Of the 49 robotic missions to Mars, 25 have failed to reach the fourth planet from the Sun. The journey will take six months or more. The optimal time to go is when the distance between Earth and Mars is the shortest. That is, once every two years.
Even so, it’s still going to be a 34-mile or 55-million-km trek. The distance traveled will actually be even greater because it cannot be done in a straight line.
So the trajectory would be similar to that of a quarterback throwing a football. They throw the ball not where the receiver is at any given time, but where future teammates will be as they continue to run across the field.
Curriculum improvement will be necessary. If this is not done with precision, the spacecraft could be lost in space or crash upon arrival at its destination. It has already happened.
In 1998, a software problem sent NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter too close to the Red Planet and it either perished in the atmosphere or was lost while orbiting the Sun. Live communication would also not be possible as it takes up to 24 minutes for radio signals to return to Earth.
So the spacecraft is on its own, relying on an onboard computer to automate the whole process. Those minutes will seem like hours. And once it’s ready to land, the vehicle – it simulates a starship – will perform a complex landing maneuver. If getting to Mars safely is going to be difficult, then staying there will be an even bigger challenge.
NASA’s Perseverance rover, which shot down in February, is studying Mars’ habitability and looking for signs of past microbial life.
Its cameras captured NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter flying over a dusty, desert world. Huge dust storms resembling tornadoes can cover the entire planet and the dust is toxic.
Many people believe that Mars is hot, but because it is further away from the Sun and its atmosphere is 100 times thinner than that of Earth, the temperature fluctuates heavily.
A daytime high temperature at the surface can drop to 22 °C or 71 °F at night as low as -99 °C or minus 146 °F. That thin atmosphere would also expose aspiring Martians to radiation.
And Mars has no magnetic field to deflect these deadly rays and particles, unlike the magnetic bubble that protects Earth. Building houses underground would protect – or possibly build them above ground with a protective layer of regolith – loose deposits of dust and broken rocks.
There is no shortage of it on the Red Planet. And if you step outside without a spacesuit, the low atmospheric pressure will make your blood boil.
A NASA scientist compared it to pop a can of soda. You will put to death. The atmosphere is primarily carbon dioxide so the failure of a spacesuit is a potential death sentence.
To solve this problem, NASA is trying to convert CO2 into oxygen with a toaster-sized instrument aboard the Perseverance rover called MOXIE. It could one day provide breathable air and even help lift rockets off the planet’s surface because the propellant relies on oxygen.
And of course, the big challenge of living on Mars is figuring out how to get safe drinking water. Soil has less water and vapor in the atmosphere, but most of it is present in the form of ice.
Perhaps the most viable option for the first humans on Mars is to first live on their spacecraft, using it as a habitable base for city building. There’s talk of landscaping Mars – engineering it to make it more Earth-like by making enough oxygen so humans can breathe.
However, it is a long way from the near-term goal of first-time travelers, which is to survive only at night. It’s dangerous, it’s inconvenient, it’s a long journey. You may not come back alive. But it is a fantastic adventure, and it will be an amazing experience. And your name will go down in history. Yes. you can die