Future: Human colonisation of other worlds

Future: Human colonisation of other worlds

Mayank Mishra Mahamaya Mishra | Feb 08, 2021

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Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.

Source: Sony BBC

That's us, That's here, That's home. On it, any living being you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives on this blue planet. Hold onAre we also going to breathe our last breath on this planet like our ancestors? Will our upcoming generation live their life on this planet? Can we think of living a life away from the earth? Is our generation ready for becoming a multi-planetary species? Do we have the correct action plan and technology that can make us a multi-planetary species? These questions are so confusing yet so tempting.

Our planet has fulfilled all our needs for billions of years Food, Water, Resources, stable atmosphere almost everything that will make our life easy. But!But!But! Everything on our planet is depleting. In the upcoming years, we won't have a proper environment to sustain life on earth. We have enough problems here on earth wars, famine, natural disaster. There are only two possibilities to fight these species threatening problems. One is let's try to control issues like climate change, global warming and other thousands of never-ending issues and the second and the most promising solution is let's leave this planet and become a multi-planetary species! Similarly, like the ones you have seen in sci-fi and star movies.

Source:Sciencemag

Organisations across the globe like NASA, SpaceX and Blue Origin are really working hard. There are now quite a few ideas that can be implemented in making us a multi-planetary species. From recent research and the type of technology, we have Mars and Enceladus(Saturn's moon) that we can think of colonising. The question remains- How can we survive on planets like Mars which have no oxygen, no water and other basic life requirements? So let's discuss how we can make it feasible so that our species don't become extinct like the dinosaurs on earth. Which is bound to happen if we don't leave this planet in the future.

Source:Sciencemag

Source:Spacexinfo

When somebody says "Mars" we visualise it as a red planet full of volcanoes, craters, canyons and the average temperature reaching up to -80 degrees Fahrenheit -- way below freezing! But the living conditions on Mars weren't always so difficult because millions of years ago Mars had a habitable climate, rivers flowing over its surface, and an abundance of greenhouse gases to keep the average temperature down to 15 degrees centigrade. Possibly some kind of life existed back then on Mars!

If life was possible back then we still can make it possible with the advancement in technology in the 21st century. Suitable climate, food and water are the basic needs to establish a colony on Mars. The climatic challenges can be solved according to a recently published research paper by Spacex with collaboration with NASA which stated the temperature on mars can be increased by introducing a high amount of C02 levels in the martian atmosphere. The required amount of CO2 can be achieved by melting the polar ice caps on Mars. The timescale for warming Mars after a focused effort of super greenhouse gas production is short, only 100 years or so," they claim. "If all the solar incident on Mars were to be captured with 100% efficiency, then Mars would warm to Earth-like temperatures in about 10 years. However, the efficiency of the greenhouse effect is plausibly about 10%; thus, the time it would take to warm Mars would be ~100 years."

The second phase will focus on surplus nitrogen in the martian atmosphere. Nitrogen is an also fundamental requirement for life and a necessary constituent of a breathable atmosphere, and recent data by the Curiosity Rover indicate that nitrates account for ~0.03% by mass of the soil on Mars, which is encouraging for terraforming. Coming to water, Mars millions of years ago had a flowing river and seas which are completely dry now. But those dry river beds can be transformed into flowing rivers again. According to a study by Spacex and Nasa, the best part about mars is its atmosphere, they have clouds, storms, seasons pretty similar to that on earth. So if after we establish a group of highly reflective satellites on the polar regions of Mars and try to reflect the maximum solar energy we are getting, this will result in the melting of the massive polar ice content on mars which eventually after increase the water levels in the dry rivers and seas on mars and this process will also take a minimum of 100 years or so.

Source:Sciencemag

As of now we are very very far from achieving this image, but we are! we should! we will continue thinking about it because as of now we are the only intelligent species in the universe. If we don't become a multi-planetary species, we will face extinction in the far coming future.But many questions have to be answered before we label us as a multi-planetary species. The major question being are we really ready for space colonisation?

Needless to say, the idea of space exploration and colonisation has left humanity awestruck but are we ready? Should we invest time and money on space colonisation? It is evident that an enormous amount of money is spent on projects related to space colonisation each year. Yet, simultaneously vital humanitarian problems are occurring on our planet. Arguably, space colonisation cannot immediately help unprivileged and vulnerable people In this scenario space exploration may seem needless and unnecessary. But we must not forget in investing in science there is so much that is unknown about the world we live in, and space colonisation is the key to finding out more about our existence. Space colonisation requires remarkable international cooperation as one person, space agency, or nation alone can not authoritatively claim any part of the cosmos for themselves.

Source:sciencefact

To summarise the arguments in support of more efforts being made for space colonisation are persuasive. It is certainly true that space colonisation would bring many advantages; for example, providing an alternate habitable place in the universe and answers to the many questions surrounding our existence. Are we alone in this universe? How did life begin? Furthermore, it allows us to challenge the boundaries of what is known about the world we live in.

 

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