Mars is often depicted as a planet inhabited by little green men. In some a man with the
name of John Carter. Another with a stranded astronaut that looks like Jason Bourne. Or in some cases tall, brown aliens in need of moms. Though fiction, humans dreamed of colonizing Mars someday. NASA hopes to succeed in their daring endeavor. Although they did not find little green men. They did figure out that you will suffocate first before you freeze and die.
What is Mars?
Mars is a red desert, and the 4th in the solar system. It gets its red color from the iron oxide in its surface. It is thought to be habitable by humankind for years (but not all believed in this). But recently, scientists found new evidence that water was present in the past. Rovers like Curiosity were sent to Mars to survey the planet in search of life. The rover was designed to survive Mars’ deep canyons, circular craters, raging winds, tall volcanoes, and the frigid cold. It was also built to handle the gravity 1/3 of the earth’s and was sent to travel 560 million km away from earth. Mars has two moons namely Phobos and Deimos. Though there are many other planets, it is by far the most preferable.
Is Mars Habitable?
To determine if Mars is habitable, we need to know the essential to life: water, food, and an atmosphere (air and warmth). These essentials, when present, will make the Red planet fit to live in.
Water: So far almost all water in Mars is at the poles as glaciers, which were thought to be the root to the river beds. NASA scanned the surface of Mars and found hydrated lines in river beds. This evidence further strengthens NASA’s claim of water in Mars. So there’s water in Mars, but can you drink it? We cannot drink the water on Mars, but luckily, scientists found a way to filter water: by evaporation. The water evaporates into a container and the waste will be thrown out.
Food: Mars’ soil is oxidized, meaning oxygen is in the soil, making it suitable (and fertile) farmland. In a matter of years, humans will learn how to cultivate the Martian soil and be independent; not needing the rations sent from Earth.
Atmosphere: As for the atmosphere, astronauts can create a heated habitat supplied with oxygen from a machine called MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-situ Resource Utilization Experiment). It converts carbon dioxide to oxygen. It does this by isolating the oxygen atoms and combining them (O2). Living in pressurized habitats would also help. To prevent the astronauts from getting disintegrated, NASA proposes to launch an artificial magnetic field. The magnetic field protects Mars (and habitants) from solar flares. And summing it up, to make Mars entirely habitable, NASA is planning to terraform Mars. It is the process of transforming a moon or planet to turn it habitable. The process includes releasing greenhouse gases, to warm the planet and melt the ice. Perhaps in a few years, we would build a new concrete jungle in the surface of the big, red, and windy planet.
Why is Mars INhabitable?
The bad thing about Mars, is that it gets exposed to too much radiation. The radiation induces short term neural damage. It also causes memory loss, anxiety, and depression. But studies show that, after the exposure, it will continue to affect the brain. Plaguing the astronauts with brain inflammation and neuron damage. Another threat is the low pressure and gravity. Low gravity and pressure normally results in muscle atrophy, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular imbalance. The gravitational pull of earth keeps our body strong, because it makes the body struggle to keep it upright. Take it away and the body won’t have enough “work” to do, making it soft. Another hazard to the astronauts is the water. It contains a salt called perchlorate. Perchlorate disrupts the thyroid gland, the gland in charge of growth and development. If the thyroid gland is affected it will cause hormonal imbalance. But the most imminent threat is Mars’ lack of atmosphere. The
atmosphere is a vital part of the Earth. It contains the breathable air and keeps out the solar radiation. But upon landing, the first thing they will notice is the frigid cold and the harsh winds. Mars has a reputation of having “dust devils”. Frequent raging tornadoes capable of wiping out settlements. Not only that, Mars also has toxic soil. But what’s the use of listing the bad things about Mars if you can’t go there at all? The price for NASA’s mission to Mars is a financial nightmare to the United States. It will at least cost 100 billion dollars. Not including the delivery for supplies. Mars maybe a dream come true to NASA, it will be hell of a planet for the astronauts
Any other possible candidates?
Before Mars, astronomers found several Earth like planets; theoretically able to support life. Gliese 581c
Gliese 581c is 20 light years away from Earth. It orbits a dwarf super cool star named Gliese 581. It isn’t too hot or too cold . It has what looks like surface water, gravity, and an atmosphere. Although astronomers aren’t sure about it because it isn’t explored yet.
Proxima b is an earth-like planet orbiting the M-class star Proxima Centauri. It is the closest neighboring star. It is tidally locked with the star. It is theorized that it is fitting for life. It is still not proven with evidence.
Kepler stellar system
The Kepler star system is a five planet star system. It is 500 light years away from earth in the constellation Cygnus. The earth-like planets can possibly contain life, water, an atmosphere, and a healthy distance away from the M-class star. There is still no proof if it is appropriate enough for humans to live.
After all the scientific evaluation and research, one question still remains: Would I volunteer? The answer to this relatively simple question is: No. The trip and stay to Mars poses too much of a risk. It is unwise to go there without solid information that it is habitable; and also proper assurance. Alongside that question, there are other more complicated ones. Is the Red planet the next Blue one? Is it inhabited by martians? Is it going to be the greatest breakthrough of NASA? Or is it going to be a tremendous waste of time?
After all the analytical analysis, what does the Bible say about it?
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” Revelations 21:1
As said in the passage, God will create new earth. Could it be Mars John was talking about? Besides, it talked about an earth with no sea. It just further reinforces the theory of Mars being the new earth. But then again, there was the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11); where mankind created a tower that would seemingly reach the “heavens”. In the chapter, the people collaborated to create a tall tower. Nonetheless, men failed on their exploit, God confused the language, plunging them into chaos; resulting in the tower collapsing, taking humanity’s dream with it. It might be an allegory to NASA’s mission to Mars. The Heavens might represent Mars. A far away goal and an apparently impossible achievement. Likewise, NASA’s endeavor might turn into a complete catastrophe. The people might plunge themselves into chaos and confusion. In my opinion, mankind, whether they believe or not, will always be subjected to God’s will. The result of Mission to Mars will always depend on God’s plan, whether it be a success or a failure. For the meantime, the little green men can have their planet all to themselves.