Going to Mars looks like a real possibility now, Mars may become the alternate habitation for humanity. Mars’s environment is quite hostile to life, with its unbreathable air, extreme radiation, and extreme cold. Mars did have an atmosphere as well as water, billions of years ago. Materials like regolith present on Mars can be used in the same way as concrete to make shelters. Let’s take a look at the things which can help humans survive on Mars:
Specially designed habitats
NASA is working on different habitat prototypes which might enable humans to survive on Mars. All these habitats have to able to sustain themselves independently, sealed from the thin atmosphere of Mars. Things like life support and environmental controls systems have to be placed along with power systems, airlocks, docking points etc so that crews can go on spacewalks to extend or repair facilities. To help crewmembers or inhabitants fight claustrophobia, scientists are suggesting more area in terms of square footage for them.
Humans would also have to figure out ways to extract water from the underground supplies and use it to generate rocket fuel and breathable air. For the first mission, scientists are planning to land near the frozen ice deposits of Mars.
To fight the extreme radiation of Mars, inhabitants will have to wear special suits every time they go out of their shelters. Spending time outside will increase the radiation exposure and the complications that radiation has.
Humans on Mars would have to produce their own food too, as getting food from Earth would be an extremely expensive affair. It’s quite surprising, but Martian soil can grow food if it is supplemented and the harsher chemicals removed. The Martian soil does not have any organics (the biological materials required for plants to grow). But it does contain important minerals that plants need.
Plants on Mars would need a higher pressure than Earth to thrive, but scientists say that it doesn’t have to be the same as the pressure that on Earth. It could be a created pressure with carbon dioxide, which is the main component of Mars’s atmosphere.
The hydroponic method of farming will be useful in producing food in Mars.
Terraforming or the process of converting another planetary body, such as Mars into something like Earth. Humans change their environment to suit their needs. One of the first goals of NASA astronauts is to successfully learn survival skills. The created habitats would have to be maintained free of toxic dust and NASA’s astronauts would also have to face the dangers from the microbial life on Mars, which could be life-threatening for the inhabitants of Mars.
Innovative first aid
With reduced sunlight and thin atmosphere, it would definitely be difficult to grow anything on Mars. Artificial leaves, which are designed in very harsh conditions can be an innovative solution for first aid. Silicone rubber leaves need very little sunlight to convert the sunlight into enough power which is required to fuel chemical reactions, to make medicine etc. The leaves harvest solar energy and emit to a wavelength region that supports the chemistry of the channels. These silicone artificial leaves can be used to make much needed first aid, agrochemicals, solar fuels etc.
Surviving on Mars won’t be easy – it will take a huge amount of time to convert it into another Earth, but one inside a sealed atmosphere, which we have seen many times in movies. People who want to live on Mars may even be willing to undergo genetic engineering to help them and their offspring adapt to high radiation, low gravity and low air pressure of Mars.