Debate on, “Is colonizing Mars a better solution for the overpopulation of the Earth?”
Earth is the only home which can support all forms of life, as well as our own. The current population of the world is 7.8 billion. Population means the total number of humans living in the world. If the population is to increase, then there will be no space left for animals or the future generations. There are other planets in our Solar System but neither of them can support life as well as Earth. Hence, we must rely on oxygen cylinders and spacesuits to go to Mars. Research is going on to find out if Mars is habitable, signs of water, life etc. So far, the only known forms of life are microscopic bacteria. Even if it were possible to colonize Mars, a lot of expenses would have to be taken care of like building multiple rockets, spacesuits, oxygen tanks and special equipment.
Reasons for the theory of colonization of Mars are:
Potential of humans to do more in-depth observational study than leaving unmanned rovers to do the job.
Economic interest in Mars’ resources.
The possibility that settling on the other planets decrease the chances of human extinction.
I disagree with the theory of colonizing Mars, because it will disturb the geography of the planet, possibly lead to the extinction of the microscopic life. Mars is an unforgiving environment. Any mistakes done by us can result in a huge failure. Mars has an atmosphere but it is so thin that it can be a vacuum for a laboratory. Dust storms in Mars are so intense they can last for several weeks. This dust is hazardous for humans if inhaled it. A colony on Mars would eventually lead to contamination with micro-organisms from Earth. Humans are host to 100 trillion micro-organisms of 10,000 species. Accidents are possible on Mars. Such accidents are that humans can die in a vacuum, getting caught in a solar storm is fatal.
Scientists say that colonization of Mars is only for the scientific purposes of scientific investigation.
I agree to the fact that humans have to colonise Mars and form permanent settlements there but as a solution not only for the overpopulation of the Earth. We humans have had Earth as our home for centuries. However, there is a chance of expanding our horizons and boundaries and making Mars our new home due to the problems faced by the Earth which we are no stranger to. We have all heard these words like global warming, greenhouse effect, climate change etc. All of these problems are caused by man and man alone. The condition of the Earth is becoming worse due to the changing climate. Thus, to ensure the survival and existence of our species., we need to settle in Mars and make it our new home. Another reason why we should colonise Mars is that humans need to become a multi-planet species and in order for achieving that goal, Mars is the best option because it has an atmosphere like Earth while the other planets don’t and have extreme climates. Therefore, they are uninhabitable. Colonizing Mars also helps us grow as a species by inspiring the coming generation to make more remarkable inventions and discoveries. Many great astrophysicists and scientists like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have stated that humans’ beings will have to go to Mars and explore places they have never been before, in order for the species to continue for another million years. Establishing a permanent colony in Mars isn’t an option, but a clear necessity.
Mars, popularly known as the ‘Red planet’ is the 4 th planet from the sun in our solar system. The planet, which is named after the Roman god of war, appears intimidating with its fiery red appearance and colossal storms. However, it is referred to as earth’s little brother for its similarities with the former. Mars,with its rusty landscape and cold deserts has captured the interests of scientists across the world. When the topic of colonization arises, scientists suggest that Mars is the most suitable planet for habitation, not only because of its similarities but also because of its proximity to the earth. Organizations have proposed plans for manned missions to Mars, the first step towards colonization. However, no one has ever set foot on the planet till date. Over 40 rovers have been sent to Mars, including the highly successful Mangalyaan, sent by ISRO in 2014. But the question that arises is why would humans need to colonize any planet in the first place?
There is no ‘one’ answer.
Space exploration and colonization may be an idea to quench our never-ending search for answers but with time, it may become a necessity. As time passes, our natural resources are continuously depleting. There’s an increased scarcity of water, food and even space, as the human population keeps increasing. Another reason which demands our attention is climatic and human disasters. Quite simply put, humans need a ‘backup’ planet. One which could support life and fulfill our needs in case of a dire scenario where the Earth is unable to do so. The duration of a Martian day and the cycle of seasons is similar to the earth. Conditions on the surface of Mars are closer to the conditions on Earth in terms of temperature and sunlight than on any other planet or moon, except for the cloud tops of Venus.However, the surface is not hospitable to humans or most known life forms due to the radiation, greatly reduced air pressure, and an atmosphere with only 0.16% oxygen. Thus, if humans were to live on Mars, they would require artificial Mars habitats with complex life-support systems. In spite of its inhospitable conditions, colonisation of Mars seems like a feasible idea and possibly our plan ‘A’. Space X CEO Elon Musk had previously stated that “Humans need to be a multiplanet species.”
We could maybe evolve in the future to acclimatize ourselves to the inhospitable conditions. But recent events such as the outbreak of COVID-19, Australia’s wildfires and even events in the past such as the mass extinction of dinosaurs during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event and World wars have shown us that our Earth and its inhabitants are vulnerable and definitely not indestructible. As quoted from Firstpost.com, “Mars is the best case scenario to our worst case scenario”.
Space travel and exploration has progressed tremendously in the past century. The prospect of going to Mars was a fantasy for every space lover. But, with the capabilities of today’s technology and discovery of new possibilities, it will become a reality within the next few years. In fact, with today’s technology, one can reach Mars within 7 months.
Colonisation of Mars could help reduce the pressure on the natural resources on our earth, help uncover the mysteries of space and secure the future for further societal and technological advancement. But colonisation of Mars could also incite competition between world powers and lead to exploitation of resources and cause general health hazards. The key to ensuring safe and successful colonisation is global cooperation, meticulous planning and learning from our previous shared experiences.
The future is limitless and so is space. Colonisation of Mars would be the first step towards interplanetary manned missions. We could venture beyond Mars to discover the ever-expanding abyss of the mysterious universe. After all, it is not money, space ship parts or a massive building that will send us to space. It is the desire to make a change that propels us forward to making the impossible possible.
Colonizing mars as a solution for over population of earth is not at all a good option , it has many draw backs
Anyone who follows space science knows that there are long-term goals to put humans on Mars. Leaders from both NASA and SpaceX aspire to send astronauts there so they can develop the first interplanetary colonies that will enable humans to live on the red planet.On the other hand, is a permanent trip to Mars a good idea? Some planetary scientists have their doubts.While it might be a good idea to send people to Mars temporarily to experience the red planet’s environment first-hand, a permanent settlement might come with too many drawbacks. For example, Mars has too thin of an atmosphere and lacks a magnetosphere, so there’s no natural protection from cosmic radiation.Unless we find a way to shield future Mars-explorers from said radiation, it could negatively impact the first Martian settlers’ health. Most experts agree that Mars’ first visitors would need to live underground or spend their lives inside of protective shielding; neither situation is ideal.But is there a better solution? Some scientists have suggested turning a blind eye toward Mars and looking elsewhere. Saturn’s moon Titan, for instance, has a thick atmosphere like Earth’s. Although it lacks oxygen, humans could derive it from frozen water stored on Titan’s surface, so that’s not a tremendous issue.There’s certainly a lot to think about, but we’ll leave that to the experts at NASA.I know most of the discussion to date has centered on a Mars colonization effort, but given the thread title generalizes out to other planets, I thought I’d throw my hat in for a more gradual approach to spam-in-a-can colonization of the solar system.
To me, the logical first step is a return to the moon, which seems to get ignored by most of the adventurous billionaires, who seem to see a far greater legacy in being the first to put people somewhere new, rather than getting people back to somewhere we (as a species) have already put down footprints.
However, I think there’s a number of good reasons not to bypass a lunar colony on our way outward: scientific, engineering, economic, and otherwise.From an engineering standpoint, the moon is the least-risky place to test all the technologies we need for space colonization in-situ. The challenges of living in a lunar environment would be near identical to those of living on Mars, with the benefit of help being 3 days away (or sooner, if you can budget higher delta-V for insertion to LLO). Scientifically, you could put a number of observatories on the moon, including IR telescopes in permanently shadowed craters or radio telescopes on the far side of the moon. Better still, people on the surface could service them, unlike, say the Herschel or Planck IR Space Observatories (or sadly even the Hubble, these days). Having a permanent presence on the moon could also give us a new understanding of how much gravity is enough for human beings. We know quite well how micro-gravity environments impact us physiologically, thanks to long-term ISS missions – knowing whether a (1/6)g environment is “good enough” would allow us to better plan for any intention of artificially generating gravity on a long-duration trip to Mars or an asteroid.
So colonizing mars is not at all a good solution for overpopulation of Earth.
It is hard to forget the images of Elon Musk’s Tesla floating through space launched atop Falcon heavy, SpaceX hoped to shoot Tesla into orbit with Mars. A stunt for sure but also a marvelous demonstration of technical competence. However, The Guardian Newspaper says and I quote ” Unlike every precious craft sent to Mars this year and the mannequin called star man sitting behind the wheel had not been sterilized and for this reason some scientists described it as the largest load of earthly bacteria to ever enter the space“.
This statement brings me to my first point of argument against colonization of Mars and that is
- If Humans do eventually land on Mars, they wouldn’t arrive alone.They would carry with them their earthy microbes, trillions of them. There is a real risk that some of these microbes might find their way to surface of Mars and in doing so confuse the search for Martian life. Further more there is no way of knowing how our microbes will react to the vulnerable Martian ecosystem.
- My second point of argument is that humans need a steady supply of oxygen to live which cannot be provide by Mars infact Mars doesn’t even have an atmosphere so even if we work to transport oxygen from Earth to Mars it would eventually deplete .
In conclusion I would like to say that I do not agree with the fact that colonization of Mars is a good idea.
Humans aren’t ready to make such a giant leap as yet
ABHAY V NAIR.