Mars One: A Fool’s Interplanetary Colonizing Mission?
PART I There are numerous factors affecting the state of the planet as we know it. This includes: over population,
pollution and disease. So, what will happen when too much of the earth’s resources are depleted, or the human race
is overturned by a global phenomenon? The most propagated solution is to move to the closest, most potentially
habitable planet, Mars.
2023 is the launch goal for the Mars One mission, where groups of four brave or foolish men and women
will be sent on a one way trip to colonize Mars. The $6 billion dollar trip would require seven years training. Although
this trip seems like an idea taken from a scifi movie like Mission to Mars or Total Recall, Mars’ lack of liquid
water, oxygen, and cold temperatures make colonizing the Red Planet seem less desirable than colonizing the North
Pole. In the event that the mars travellers successfully make it to mars, how will they fulfill their needs as human
beings such as, for example, drinking water?
Water is essential for the survival of all life –as we know it on earth. In humans water accounts for 60
percent of our bodies. For terrabased humans and animals, water dissolves vitamins and nutrients and delivers them
to cells. Water is also used in the excretion process, which is a requirement for living organisms. It flushes out
toxins, regulates body temperature, and aids metabolism. Water keeps the plants alive, which keeps us
alive, by being a source of energy and giving off oxygen. Water is deeply 1 embedded in our way of life; without
it, there would be no life. It is used as a means of transportation and is a ubiquitous symbol of life and wealth. Water
helps advance civilizations. How can we hope to expand human life on a dry planet, such as Mars, when it evidently
lacks a requirement of human existence?
Although Mars is an incredibly arid planet, its polar icecaps hold five times more water than all of the H20 in
all of the Great Lakes on Earth. In 2002 NASA’s Phoenix lander verified the existence of water on Mars.
Despite Mars’ location within the galaxy’s habitable zone, liquid water cannot exist on its surface for long until it
dissipates. This is due to the planet’s low atmospheric pressure.
4 1 During the Mars One mission portable water will be generated by heating iced water from the local
ground soil. The soil will be collected in containers, heated unitil the water evapourates, and then the soil will
be returned to the suface. Some of this evapourated water will also be manipulated to produce
Mars’ atmosphere cannot support human life because it has been diminished after years of solar flares and
asteroid impact. The atmosphere is composed of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, argon and no oxygen. People would not
be able to breathe because oxygen bonds quickly with other elements, and there is nothing on mars to produce
free oxygen. The inhospitable conditions of the atmosphere would mean everyone on the Mars One mission would
have to sport oxygen masks at all times.
Methane was once believed, by scientists, to exist on mars. NASA’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)
instrument found traces of methane in the atmosphere using a spectrometer. Since methane is a reduced gas and
Mars is supposed to have an oxidizing atmosphere, methane shouldn’t exist on mars because it would have been
oxidized into carbon dioxide. Thus, this free methane would mean there are organisms producing it, and somehow
life forms are able to exist in the Martian environment. Perhaps this could allow for the growth of life on mars, life that
could oxygenate the atmosphere and allow the mars colony to expand beyond the reaches of the doors of their Living
Units, in hopes of preparing the planet for future Martians. However, the Curiosity rover recently disproved this
hypothesis by finding no traces of methane on mars, according to NASA.
2 So, for the survival of the astronauts of
the Mars One mission, Life Support Units will be
used to simulate the habitable conditions for life on
Earth, on Mars. These units will connect
Visualization of Life Support Units via space.com 3
to the Living Unit by a tube which feeds the
oxygen, nitrogen, and argon to create a habitable atmosphere. A biosphere will also be built to include an ocean and
scaled sizes of the various habitats found on Earth, which would all