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Life on Mars

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By Cmosley
Words 2220
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There are several companies researching and exploring ideas on how to get to Mars. Space X is one of those companies they were founded in 2002. The Headquarters of Space X is located in Hawthorne, Ca. and they design, manufacture and launch advanced rockets and spacecraft’s. Space X, is short for Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, it is one of two private companies that NASA has contracted to transport cargo to the International Space Station. (Robertson, 2013)
Space X can launch cargo from approximately 5 tons to 53 tons on their two rocket designs right now, cargo services are available on the Falcon 9 space craft for about $56.5 million dollars to sub orbit. If you need larger payload capabilities Space X also has the Falcon Heavy which is capable of carrying heavier payloads. As of right now 6.4 tons or less will cost $77.1 million dollars or for loads over 6.4 tons will cost approximately $135 million dollars. (SpaceX, 2014)
Elon Musk is the CEO and Chief designer of Space X and he also co-founded PayPal services. “The key thing for me is to develop the technology to transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars. That’s the ultimate awesome thing.” Musk envisages a colony with 80,000 people on the red planet. Musk believes he can get this under way in the next 10 to 20 years with the first manned mission to the Red Planet. The key is developing a reusable rocket to help keep cost down. (Coppinger, 2012)
“Tickets to go to the Red Planet will cost about $ 500,000 dollars” says Musk. The initial equipment would be machines to harvest methane, oxygen and carbon dioxide from Mars’ nitrogen enriched atmosphere. Life would be hard early on with initial systems in place the first

people would begin to pressurize the domes with Mars’ atmospheric carbon dioxide, infusing the soil with nutrients to provide habitants with capabilities of growing earth crops. Mars would be the most viable target to attempt to colonize in the solar system because of it having the greatest potential of self-sufficiency. The geologic history of Mars can prove to have several different ores from the volcanoes and craters on the planet. Also the asteroid belt between earth and mars could have some minerals to help re supply colonies on mars. (Bonsor, 2000)
Purpose
The Mars one project has developed a realistic plan to establish a permanent colony on mars. This plan is built on existing technology available from suppliers. This plan consists of a Mar’s transit vehicle that will travel from earth to mars that will take about 7 months. Once in Mars atmosphere the astronaut’s will land on the surface along with other landers carrying life support units, supply units with food and water, living units and rovers. Two rovers will be sent ahead to set up out posts and help select the most viable locations for the settlement. The explorers will have to wear mars suits whenever they are exposed to the mars atmosphere to help protect them from the temperatures and the lack of oxygen. The communications system will consist of two satellites and earth ground stations. (Mars-one.com)
Climate Characteristics
The distance from Mars to the sun is 141,600,000 miles. The distance from earth to mars varies due to them both being on elliptical orbits. The distance ranges from 57.6 million miles to 100.7 million miles. (Fact monster, 2007)
Mars is a rocky, cold, arid, and sterile environment beneath the pink hazy sky. There are mountain ranges from past volcanoes and craters also. The Mars atmosphere is made of mostly carbon about 95 percent, nitrogen 2.7percent and argon 1.3 percent compared to earth being 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen along with small percentages of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and argon. This is not very friendly to life as we know on earth. (flanagan, 2013)
The average day on mars is 24 hours 37minutes and 23 seconds. The average year is about twice as long as earth’s year with it lasting 687 earth days to orbit the sun. This causes the seasons to last double than what they are on earth. The wind has been recorded gusting up to 60 mph and having a sustained wind of 20mph. The wind can be so strong that it can cover the whole planet in a dust storm that can take months to settle down. The temperatures can be as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as -100 degrees Fahrenheit. (Bonsor, 2000)
Population
The logical location would be just north of the equator where it is like plains. The population in the beginning will be limited to the first explorers till the colonies are built and set up. The overall population of Mars would be less than half of that of earth since Mars diameter is only slightly half the size of earth. The first colony will be dependent on supplies being shipped from earth to mars with the cost being absorbed by the people on earth. Until the colonies on mars can become self-sufficient in making and growing it’s on supplies or till it can export enough minerals and ore to pay for its support.
Locations
The regions on mars available for colonizing would be the polar caps, the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere. The polar caps would be a lot colder an harsher than most humans could withstand for a long period. The northern region is a lot more like the Great Plains which could be beneficial as far as building would go. The southern region has more rocks formations and mountainous areas. The other possibility would be to live in the great valley on mars where it would be possible to inhabit cavernous locations to help fight with the cold and with radiation on mars surface. (Mars-one.com)
Three types of possible governments
This is the red white and blue stance which would entail the government on mars would be controlled by earth via the US government.
While this may look like a good idea by American and even non-American citizen a closer look at the difficulty and unwise means of ‘ Governing from Afar” which if we use history as a teacher this was what Britain tried to use for the new colonies. That didn’t work well with only 3000 miles between the colonies and Britain. Will it really work for millions of miles and get through all the bureaucracy that our government has today.
This is the pale blue stance which would be the government would be modeled and controlled by the United Nations. If the idea of US governing Mars is flawed then the UN running life on Mars would be almost laughable. Several issues with the UN having custodianship of Mars the biggest one is space development. Since the UN has radical environmental proposals such as Agenda 21, the Heritage Convention and Wild lands project which calls for Re- Wilding over half the United States.
The sovereign Martian state this type of government will be the most realistic and reliable for the quick and difficult decisions facing the explorers. With any group there will be a natural leader to take the lead but since decision will affect the entire group a unanimous vote will be

needed to move forward . And since labor on Mars will be at a premium and remain so for a long time, it will be important how the government views issues concerning the small and fragile Mars economy. If the government on Mars takes an approach of wage and price controls, such as today's American economy does, which is controlled through the Federal Reserve Bank, the results could be disastrous. A better proposal would be to have true free trade and a free market economy environment, unhindered and unbound by the powers and constraints of an elite private organization meddling in the affairs of everyday transactions and business. (Walsh, 2002)
Energy
There are a few different types of energy possibilities we can explore to help self-sustain the colony. Exploring each of these will have their pros and cons such as wind energy, solar energy and aero thermal energy. It may end up being a combination of all three of all three that will be used to help make Mars more viable planet to live on.
Wind Energy although the atmospheric density is about 100 times less than the Earth, Mars has several advantages for successful wind power applications: less gravity (less massive components), large temperature and pressure swings (producing high winds), and tremendous surface relief and low atmospheric thermal inertia (produces consistent wind patterns).
Solar power is readily available on Mars, but dependent upon latitude, seasonal variation (dueto orbital eccentricity and inclination), daily variation, day/night cycles, suspended aerosols, and dust storms (Zubrin 1996; Meyer 1996; Geels 1989; Meyer 1989). Orbital eccentricity causes a variation in the surface solar constant from 718 to 493 Wm-2. On average, the Martian

surface receives about 50% less solar flux on the surface when compared to Earth (mainly due to its distance from the sun).
This section discusses the availability of planetary heat sources on Mars. This resource will be labeled as aero thermal, in order to distinguish the Martian expression from the terrestrial resource which is labeled as Geothermal. Geological measurements are required to determine the heat flux on Mars. Design
The size and accessibility of Mars makes it one of the more likely of planets to inhabit, as well as several other features including the location of probable important outcrops. However more laboratory work would be also necessary to improve our knowledge on the extraction and preservation of organic materials under different conditions, in order to finalize any landings on mars. (Kereszturi, 2012)
Transportation Systems
“Version two of Dragon, which should be ready in three years, should be able to do it. But really, if humanity is to become multi-planetary, the fundamental breakthrough that needs to occur in rocketry is a rapidly and completely reusable rocket. In the absence of that, space transportation will remain two orders of magnitude more expensive than it should be. We’ve begun testing reusability with something called the Grasshopper Project, which is a Falcon 9 first stage with landing gear that can take off and land vertically.” Musk says that he is attempting to

send a ship capable of taking off and landing on mars that can man a crew of 10 members. (Anderson, 2012)
Life Support Systems:
The current life support systems in use by most space travel agencies are physic chemical systems, which supply the crew with basic necessities with consumables generated by physical and chemical processes. These life support systems are good for short duration missions not for long missions and future colonies on other planets. If colonies were to be formed on Mars, the colonies will need to be self-sufficient and use a bio regenerative life support system. A bio regenerative life support system performs all of the basic functions of a life support system based on a natural regenerative process. Such systems incorporate biological components in the synthesis, purification, and regeneration of basic life support consumables. (vasts.spacegrant.org/modules/10/3/)
In the course of all the research done on this project what was once considered a unreachable quest will become a reality. Maybe not a fully functional city on Mars but in our opinion we will have had several successful missions to Mars. The private sector of our world is capable of making this possible and one day affordable for all. With all the companies exploring these possibilities and constantly improving technology on a daily basis hopefully we will be a part of this historic and monumental event.

References
Anderson, C. (2012, October 21). wired. Retrieved from wired.com: (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/10/ff-elon-musk-qa/all/)
Bonsor, K. (2000, November 10). Retrieved from howstuffworks.com: http://science.howstuffworks.com/asteroid-mining1.htm
Coppinger, R. (2012, November 23). Retrieved from http://www.space.com/18596-mars-colony-spacex-elon-musk.html
Fact monster. (2007). Retrieved from factmonster.com: http://www.factmonster.com/science/astronomy/planet-mars.html flanagan, j. (2013, September 24). The kernel. Retrieved from http://www.kernelmag.com/features/report/5568/this-is-what-life-on-mars-will-be-like/#
Kereszturi, A. (2012, November). Science direct. Retrieved from Sciencedirect.com: (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032063312002012)
Ratcliff, C. (2013, November 19). Retrieved from econsultancy.com: http://econsultancy.com/blog/63818-what-is-click-fraud-and-how-can-you-prevent-it
Robertson, A. (2013, December 6). Retrieved from theverge.com: http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/6/5182272/what-does-the-spacex-satellite-launch-mean-for-space-exploration
ROGNERUD, J. (2009, May 27). Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved from entrepreneur.com: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/201910
Sharp, T. (2012, August 03). Space.com. Retrieved from http://www.space.com/16907-what-is-the-temperature-of-mars.html
SpaceX. (2014). Retrieved from Spacex.com: http://www.spacex.com/about vasts.spacegrant. (2012, October ). Retrieved from vasts.spacegrant: ( http://vasts.spacegrant.org/modules/10/3/)
Walsh, C. (2002, August 21). Red Colony. Retrieved from redcolony.com: http://www.redcolony.com/art.php?id=0208210#Who_Should_Govern_Mars?_Building_the_Case_for_a_Sovereign_Mars…...

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