Mars is the most habitable extraterrestrial site in our solar system, with an environment that could support human life. It’s also the planet that scientists are most eager to explore. The red planet has inspired many fictional narratives on Mars colonies and humans living there. In the early 20th century, famous writers and astronomers planned several Mars exploration missions.
However, those only existed as paper blueprints. Today, scientists are developing possible solutions for a human Mars colony. With today’s technology, it’s almost impossible for humans to move to Mars permanently — at least as we know it now. But what if we could build a city on Mars?
Why Build a City on Mars?
Any space exploration mission needs to be justified by the potential benefits. For this reason, many people wonder: why build a city on Mars? A city on Mars may be able to solve many issues facing the modern world.
By establishing long-term human settlements on Mars, we would gain access to a new planet rich in resources, energy, and minerals. We could also use Mars’ gravity to launch missions to other planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn.
Moreover, Mars is next to Earth, making it easier to travel between planets. The journey between Earth and Mars is only one month, instead of several years, to other planets. With a Mars colony, humans could explore the red planet and protect themselves from an accidental extinction event on Earth.
How to Build a City on Mars?
To build a city on Mars, we need to understand its environment and how it can support human life. Mars experiences extremely cold temperatures and lacks any substantial water supply. However, scientists are working on solutions for these challenges. For example, researchers are already working on ways to create water on Mars artificially.
Also, new technologies are being developed for greenhouse cultivation on Mars, allowing for growing food in the soil. Other challenges include the extremely low gravity and lack of magnetic fields — which leads to dangerous radiation. To build on Mars, scientists must address these issues with technology. They may also need to modify humans to tolerate the environment genetically.
What Would a City on Mars Look Like?
A city on Mars would be very different from Earth’s cities. For example, the city’s buildings would be built differently due to the lower gravity. Humans need to wear special gear to protect themselves from the planet’s low oxygen levels and radiation. These challenges would also require new solutions to protect the planet from harmful human activity.
For example, humans would need ways to limit CO2 emissions and protect the soil from contamination by their equipment. To survive on Mars, scientists suggest a decentralised urban development model, where the city is broken into smaller areas.
It would allow humans to reduce the amount of equipment they need to move around between the different locations. It would also protect the city against the damaging effects of dust storms.
The Pros of Living On Mars
Living on Mars has many advantages that we don’t yet have living on Earth. The red planet has no natural disasters, no disease, and a longer lifespan than humans. Moreover, water is readily available on Mars. The lower gravity on Mars is a major advantage. It allows humans to be stronger and able to jump higher than on Earth.
Mars has abundant solar energy and minerals, which could be used to power human activities. The gravity on Mars is only 38% of Earth’s, affecting everything from how long it takes to get somewhere to how much you can lift with one hand. However, living in a low-gravity environment could also have negative effects.
We may be able to find a natural source of water on Mars. However, as we don’t know if this is possible, we may need to bring water from Earth to sustain human life.
The Cons of Living on Mars
Mars and Earth are similar in size. The disadvantages of living on Mars are mainly the challenges associated with migrating to another planet. For example, the journey itself would be incredibly challenging. It would take at least 6 months and be extremely dangerous due to the low gravity and high radiation levels.
It means that humans must wear pressure suits and have special equipment to move around. Moreover, the atmosphere of Mars is very thin, which means that it would be impossible to breathe without special equipment. Mars experiences extremely cold temperatures, so humans need special gear to protect themselves from freezing. However, we may be able to use Martian soil to generate heat.
Creating a Breathable Environment
One of the biggest challenges to building a city on Mars is generating an atmosphere that humans can breathe. Currently, Mars has an extremely low level of oxygen, which is not enough to support human life. However, scientists are currently exploring two ways to generate a breathable environment on Mars.
- Building Greenhouses: Greenhouses are large structures used for growing plants in a controlled environment. By creating large greenhouses with solar energy, we may be able to grow food and produce oxygen on Mars.
- Creating an Artificial Atmosphere: An artificial atmosphere may be created by sending a giant balloon filled with CO2 to Mars. It would collect the CO2 in the atmosphere and release oxygen. It would then turn the balloon into a giant bubble protecting humans from harmful radiation and low oxygen levels.
Growing Food on Mars
Growing food on Mars is one of the biggest challenges facing humans who want to establish a long-term presence on the red planet. To sustain a city on Mars, we would need to produce food to replace the limited amount brought from Earth. Scientists are currently exploring two ways to grow food on Mars.
The first is hydroponic farming, which can be done in greenhouses or indoors. Hydroponics uses water and mineral nutrients to grow plants without using soil. The other way of growing food on Mars is through Martian soil. The soil on Mars is made up of minerals such as silicon, aluminium, iron, and magnesium.
To create a breathable environment on Mars, we would need to increase the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. However, scientists are exploring two ways to create an atmosphere on Mars. One option is to send large amounts of oxygen to Mars, which would be incredibly expensive.
The other way is to use certain bacteria, which feed off carbon dioxide and produce oxygen as a byproduct. Researchers have found that one type of bacteria can survive in the conditions found on Mars. These bacteria could be used to create a new atmosphere on Mars.
Mars’ atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide, which isn’t breathable by humans. Growing plants can solve it to produce oxygen, store it or feed it back into the atmosphere. As an alternative, human-made oxygen can be placed into the atmosphere as a chemical process.
The plant matter is decomposed inside the canisters and then reacts with the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide to produce oxygen. It was done by the Soviet Union when they built their Mars-like city in the mid-1980s. The Tibet Autonomous Region in China is also home to a Mars simulation that uses this technology.
Basics of Living on Mars
As we can see, building a city on Mars would require a lot of research and new technologies. However, there are several things we can do to prepare for life in a Martian city. First, we can learn about the environmental conditions on Mars to better understand how to survive there. We can also use simulations to train for the challenges of living on Mars.
Finally, we can use today’s technology to explore ways of transporting humans to Mars and sustaining life there. For example, we can use the International Space Station to test new ways of creating oxygen and growing food in space. We can also use the research and development of space missions as steps towards building a city on Mars.
Homes That Protect Against the Cold
Mars’ temperature is relatively easy to shield against. The first option is to build structures that protect against extremely low temperatures. A decent amount of research has been done to figure out how to protect from the cold. Some options include building domes, underground shelters, or using existing caves.
One of the most popular ideas for housing on Mars is the “sandwich” concept. It involves building two or three layers of walls (sandwiches) between a layer of insulation and a layer of water. Each sandwich would be made of materials that can withstand extremely low temperatures, such as concrete and rock. The insulation would be a special material that traps air to keep it warm. The water layer would protect against the water that would inevitably condense inside the walls.
Game Parks and Zoos
Mars is home to many rare and unusual animals, plants, and insects that we can’t find anywhere else in the solar system. Examples include the Mars tarantula, the Mars sand dollar, the Mars rover cricket, the Mars candy stripe crayfish, the Mars parrotfish, the Mars Archaea, and the Mars nematode.
Many of these species exist only in certain areas on Mars, so it would be a shame to let them go extinct as humans colonise the planet. One option is to build zoos and game parks to house them and let humans see them in their natural habitats. Such areas could also let researchers study these rare Martian species.
We could also use zoos and game parks to protect species that live in the Martian wild. They could serve as a “genetic bank” to protect against extinction as human civilisation expands across Mars.
An Education Centre for Aspiring Astronauts
Mars is an important place for humans to visit and explore. Sending astronauts to live there would be an excellent test of our ability to colonise other planets. It would also be an excellent way to inspire young people and get them excited about space and science.
A Mars education centre could teach people about the planet, its history and current status, how it’s being explored and how humans might live there in the future. It could allow people to experience some aspects of life on Mars, like reduced gravity or simulated communications delay. It could also host competitions that test people’s ability to explore and solve problems in Martian conditions.
A Research Lab and Manufacturing Facility
To live on Mars, we’ll need to learn more about the planet and how to use it to our advantage. A Mars research lab could test things such as growing food in Martian soil, extracting water from the soil and making other resources useful to humans.
We could also build a manufacturing facility on Mars to produce equipment and materials needed by astronauts. Such a facility primarily needs to produce breathable oxygen, water, rocket fuel, and metals. It would lower the cost of getting to Mars and make it easier for people to get there.
Getting to Mars is the first challenge for anyone wanting to live there. Getting off the planet once you arrive is another problem that needs solving. There are many ways to get to Mars, but only a few ways back. The best way to get off Mars is by building your rockets, fuel, and other equipment there.
That would be a long and challenging process, so many people have suggested using Martian materials to make the journey easier. Some of the best ways to get back to Earth are to use materials found on Mars or partner with the planet’s nearby moons.
- Building off-planet rockets: The easiest way to get back to Earth (or another nearby planet) is to build rockets off the planet. It would let us use materials found on Mars to make the fuel and other parts.
- Using nearby moons: Three moons are orbiting Mars that we could use to get back to Earth. These are Deimos, Phobos, and Mars’ largest moon, Cytherean. Getting back to Earth from these moons isn’t easy, but it’s a better solution than using materials found on Mars.
Habitation and Shelter
Habitation is one of the most critical aspects of settling on Mars. It involves building shelters, gathering resources, and providing a safe place to live and work. There are many different ways to build on Mars, but they all involve protecting against low temperatures, strong winds, and low air pressure.
To do this, we must trap air between our buildings’ walls. We can do it through what is known as “pressure vessels”. Pressure vessels are particularly strong walls that can protect against low air pressure. They’re usually made of metal, rock, or concrete. The best way to build pressure vessels for Mars is to make them out of Martian soil.
Farming and Food Production
Mars doesn’t have a large amount of arable land, but it does have water. One way to make food on Mars is through hydroponics. Hydroponics uses water and minerals to grow plants without soil. We can do hydroponics in large greenhouses or small boxes.
Another way to grow food on Mars is called aeroponics. It pulls nutrients straight from the Martian atmosphere. Aeroponics doesn’t use soil or water. Instead, plants are grown inside airtight containers with their roots suspended in the air.
Tourism and Travel
Mars will be a fantastic tourist destination once fully explored and settled. Once humans get there, there are many things to do, see, and experience. These include hiking, climbing, visiting museums, and travelling to nearby moons. Mars will likely have many tourist attractions focusing on its history and connection to Earth.
These could include museums, monuments, and historic sites. Visiting Mars will not be easy. It will take months to get there and back, and people will need to stay for long periods. Visiting will require a lot of supplies, money, and skill. Visiting Mars will be like visiting another planet. People will need special gear, food, and medicine when visiting Mars. They’ll also need special training to learn to live on the planet.
In this article, we have explored what a city on Mars would look like. What are your thoughts on this?
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