Is Life Possible On Mars ?

Mars has been a subject of interest to our scientists from many decades, specially due to possibility of life on it. In 1965 NASA sent Mariner 4 Spacecraft for a flyby around Mars which completed it's mission successfully. Since then many successful mission has been done on our neighbouring planet. This include four Mars rovers named Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity. NASA has also sent Odyssey a spacecraft that has the capability of producing the map of the planet.



But is life really possible on Mars on a grand scale? Is Mars our next home? Is Mars life sustaining?
Let's have a precise view.

Why Mars


Mars is one of the most familiar places in the solar system having almost 24 hour day cycles, mountain, valleys, even liquid water. With so much common with earth we can think Mars could be second home for the human race.

Water On Mars


A few billion year ago Mars was inhabited with large water bodies of water including lakes, rivers, and even an ocean. But the water discovered in October 2015 was almost negligible to what it once had. Scientists had discovered Hydrated Perchlorate Salt in the flow on the wall of craters, which gives a strongest evidence yet that water can be artificially created on Mars. However, many other sources of water is still under investigation.

The presence of water doesn't prove life on Mars, but it gives us a little scope that Mars could be home to some microorganism.

Hostile Environment


Mars is a voilent inhospitable wasteland with nature firmly against it at every turn. From research Mars is dry. Moreover, it is freezing cold. On the hottest days on the hottest parts of the planet temperatures can reach as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit. That's not even bad, but the average temperature  of the planet is -52 degree Fahrenheit and the dropping temperature at the pole of mars can go upto -225 degree Fahrenheit.Most of the parts of the planet Mars is in frigid hostility.

However, human can survive in cold climate. The average temperature in Antarctica is -57 degree Fahrenheit which is actually cooler than the average temperature of Mars and we have a sustainable camp in Antarctica. So although it is wont't be easy to stay warm on the surface of the Mars, but it is technically possible with current technology but we will have to build a camp out there.

Thin Atmosphere


Entering the atmosphere of mars introduces a unique problem, the Martian atmosphere is extremely thin. This technically means that spacecraft entering this atmosphere will have less help slowing down as they descend to the surface. But the bigger problem this means is that there is less oxygen to breathe.

In Fact the atmosphere of Mars has about only 0.14% oxygen compared to the 21% present on Earth. However there is a solution to this problem. There is a chemical called Perchlorate is found in high concentration on Mars. This compound contains 1 chlorine atom and 4 oxygen atom, the two oxygen atoms can be used as a source of possible breathable air for the astronaut inside the habitat.


Radiation


One of the biggest dangers for anyone living on Mars is radiation. Because the Earth has a active iron core a strong magnetic field is generated. This magnetic field protects the planet Earth from harmful radiation not only from sun but also from violent distant activity in deep space. Unfortunately Mars has almost no magnetic field. So it is completely exposed to the radiation from the space.

You can imagine the radiation in space by knowing that during the 180 days journey to Mars the astronaut absorb the same level of radiation as a nuclear power plant worker will in a 15 year career. On the planet Mars they still get a low dose of radiation which increases the threat of cancer. Ever the crew working on International Space Station with advanced shielding technology posses a great risk of radiation.

Therefore until we get new technology for the shielding of radiation, living on Mars will have to be scaled back only to short visits.

It isn't until you look at Mars a seemingly earth-like planet you realise just how narrow the habitability zone for humans actually is. Although we have technology to get humans to Mars a planet the is one and half time further away from sun than Earth and 225 million kilometres from Earth with toxic soil, a scarce water supply and dust storm the size of North America, you will have to question weather it is even worth it.

In the next 20-30 years the technology will be in place to help support human life on the planet, but today it is simply too far away and too hostile for  a sustainable human colony on the Red Planet.

Sorry but we will have to wait a little bit longer and even then we can't live there on a grand scale.
At last Earth is what we have got.

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