NASA has just unveiled its newest 2020 Mars Rover. The Rover is scheduled to launch next year with the goal of searching for ancient life traces and make way for future human missions.
With the way Mars missions seem like a normal occurrence this past decade, people can’t help to think that a human settlement is possible within our lifetime. In fact, Dr. Richard Zurek, the Chief Scientist in the Mars Program Office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said that the first human would set foot on Mars in the next 30 years.
Perhaps, your dream of living on another planet may come true. But, what’s it like living on Mars anyway? How different is the Martian environment from our beloved Mother Earth?
Mars is Sandy
Mars is a cold desert world. There’s sand and rocks wherever you look but no beaches. There’s water on the polar ice caps and ice deposits beneath the surface, but still, Mars is mostly desert with stunning giant mountains and canyons to compensate for its otherwise barren landscape.
If you want to imagine how it’s like for an Astronaut walking on Mars, better listen to this ambient sound first: A mission of astronaut set their foot on the red planet
Mars is Windy
Ever been to any deserts on Earth and experienced the howling wind? Well, you’ll find Mars feels just a bit worse. The wind on the red planet is never-ending and extremely harsh with sharp sands blowing all over the place.
Mars is chock-full of radiation
Unlike Earth, Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field to protect it from the Sun’s radiation. This means you can’t go outside and enjoy the sunrise or sunset unless you have serious protection gear in place.
This also means human settlements are best built underground with rocks serving as a natural radiation shield. If subterranean dwellings sound good to you, you’ll love living on Mars.
Of course, humans won’t be satisfied with being cooped up underground in their new planet. Sooner or later, we’ll move above ground and build Mars colonies just like the many science fiction movies depicted. Will it be bustling with activities from dwellers, tourists, workers, and scientists? Time will tell.
Mars is light
Mars’ gravitational pull is only 38% of Earth’s own 9.807 m/s² gravity. This microgravity environment poses quite a problem. For instance, your favorite muscle car or truck won’t have enough traction to propel it properly when we finally have roads built on Mars’ surface. That will put a damper on your Martian experience for sure.
Well, no worries. Elon probably already has an idea to scale the Cybertruck for Martian terrain and gravity. It’s not going to be cheap though.
So, do you still think Mars is a great place to spend your life in? Despite all the rough spots Mars has, we still think it is. Let’s just hope that when we do finally build settlements on Mars, we won’t be interrupting the slumbering alien war machines buried deep within its crust. Things won’t be pleasant if that should come true