And most of all, we don’t know how low gravity will affect the mother and fetus. For example, the astrobiologist Milan Cirkovic calculates that some 10 46 people per century could come into existence if we were to colonize our Local Supercluster, Virgo. Please support us – a donation of as little as $10 a month helps support our vital myth-busting efforts. Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? Other reasons likely contribute to the disinterest in lunar colonization. Collectively, these changes would result in an entirely new species of human—one built specifically for Mars. And even if we do develop therapies to treat humans living on Mars, these interventions are likely to be limited in scope, with patients requiring constant care and attention. Preliminary: Why should we colonize Mars? We think we are in charge, but Nature herself is a cruel mother. So while Mars will remain inaccessible to ordinary, run-of-the-mill Homo sapiens, the Red Planet could become available to those who dare to modify themselves and their progeny. “People don’t realize how complicated this is,” said Horgan. Neuroscientist Rachael Seidler from the University of Florida says many people today fail to appreciate how difficult it’ll be to sustain colonies on the Red Planet. Life in this closed environment, with limited access to the surface, could result in other health issues related to exclusive indoor living, such as depression, boredom from lack of stimulus, an inability to concentrate, poor eyesight, and high blood pressure—not to mention a complete disconnect from nature. Yeah, you. A common argument in favor of colonizing Mars is that it’ll allow us to begin the process of transforming the planet to a habitable state. I googled it, and I didn't find anything about the topic, so I came here. “Some of these effects would have to eventually plateau—there is a structural limit on the fluid volume that the skull can contain, for example,” she said. The regolith, or soil, on Mars is toxic, containing dangerous perchlorate chemicals, so that also needs to be avoided. We should wish them good luck in modifying their progeny to adapt to alien environments. We make occasional visits to Antarctica and we even have some bases there, but that’s about it. Well, progress and parades. “If we can’t make it to a nearby planet with an atmosphere, water, and a stable surface—which in principle suggests we could do it—then certainly we’re not going to make it much beyond that,” said Friedman. Pioneering astronautics engineer Louis Friedman, co-founder of the Planetary Society and author of Human Spaceflight: From Mars to the Stars, likens this unfounded enthusiasm to the unfulfilled visions proposed during the 1940s and 1950s. As Martin Rees pointed out, Mars and other space environments are “inherently hostile for humans,” but as he wrote in his book. Saturn’s largest moon Titan is the only natural satellite with more than a trace atmosphere. They are much cheaper than humans because they don’t require a vast support infrastructure to provide things like water, food and breathable air. “Establishing stable resources to live off for a long period of time is possible, but it’ll be tough,” said Horgan. Enforcing such a policy on a planet that’s 34 million miles away at its closest is another question entirely, though one would hope that Martian societies won’t regress to lawlessness and a complete disregard of public safety and established ethical standards. Which is a good point. At the moment, there are a few groups trying to reach Mars, and a few groups who are trying to reach the Moon. Air pressure on Mars is very low; at 600 Pascals, it’s only about 0.6 percent that of Earth. In his latest book, On the Future: Prospects for Humanity, cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees addressed the issue of colonizing Mars rather succinctly: By 2100 thrill seekers... may have established ‘bases’ independent from the Earth—on Mars, or maybe on asteroids. This is an “issue that a lot of folks, including those at SpaceX, aren’t thinking about too clearly,” she told Gizmodo. So why aren’t we racing to colonize the moon? Mars is the closest thing we have to Earth in the entire solar system, and that’s not saying much. There are also those who think that even if we can colonize other planets we shouldn't for a variety of reasons, either ethical, political, or social. Nanotechnology in the form of molecular machines could deliver medicines, perform repair work, and eliminate the need for breathing and eating. “But this just hasn’t happened. “But if we’re doomed to be a single-planet species, then we need to recognize both psychologically and technologically that we’re going to have live within the limits of Earth.”. Gravity on the Red Planet is 0.375 that of Earth’s, which means a 180-pound person on Earth would weigh a scant 68 pounds on Mars. Have we lost hope for Earth? The notion that we can start colonizing Mars within the next 10 years or so is an overoptimistic, delusory idea that falls just short of being a joke. After the Moon landings, Friedman said he and his colleagues were hugely optimistic about the future, believing “we would do more and more things, such as place colonies on Mars and the Moon,” but the “fact is, no human spaceflight program, whether Apollo, the Space Shuttle Program, or the International Space Station,” has established the necessary groundwork for setting up colonies on Mars, such as building the required infrastructure, finding safe and viable ways of sourcing food and water, mitigating the deleterious effects of radiation and low gravity, among other issues. Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues, Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign, Early COVID vaccine recipients are reporting numerous side-effects. There’s no ‘Planet B’ for ordinary risk-averse people. How is that going? That reason is That we almost did not achieve the Moon manned missions. Ok we're onto the second reason why we should not go to Mars. The billions – if not trillions – of dollars needed to colonise Mars could, for example, be better spent investing in renewable forms of energy to address climate change. You might as well be exposed to the vacuum of space, resulting in a severe form of the bends—including ruptured lungs, dangerously swollen skin and body tissue, and ultimately death. We don’t know how sperm and egg will act on Mars, or how the first critical stages of conception will occur. They would carry with them their earthly microbes. Mars’ gravity is less than Earth but large enough to lure gases and form an atmosphere. “Yes, there would be physiological and neural changes that would occur on Mars due to its partial-gravity environment,” she told Gizmodo. In a few centuries or less humans will likely still exist, but the technological society we’ve built for ourselves will be gone and something vastly different will have replaced it. To Understand Earth: Mars is the planet in our solar system that is most similar to Earth. I know, it's a weird question, but as technology improves, it's bound to come up sooner or later. By terraforming, scientists are referring to the hypothetical prospect of geoengineering a planet to make it habitable for humans and other life. The problem is that you can’t stay in there [i.e. Podcast: Beyond CRISPR and gene therapy—How ‘gene writing’ is poised to transform the treatment of even the rarest diseases, Podcast: Polymerase chain reaction—The ‘transformative’ tool that sparked a genetics revolution, Video: Infrared camera shows how COVID spreads through a room. “You can only do so much with radiation protection,” Horgan said. This will require specialized lighting, genetically modified plants designed specifically for Mars, and plenty of water, the latter of which will be difficult to source on Mars. An experiment that had vast possibilities but has the fatal flaw of hubris. The radiation problem may be solvable, he said, “but the problems are still huge, and in a sense anti-human.”. Unlike other fields, development into human spaceflight, he said, “has become static.” Friedman agreed that we’ll likely build bases on Mars, but the “evidence of history” suggests colonization is unlikely for the foreseeable future. In fact, not at all, despite the relative ease at which we could achieve this. Even though this is all true the rejecting side has claims that outweigh these reasons to go. And like the International Space Station, Martian habitats will likely be a microbial desert, hosting only a tiny sample of the bacteria needed to maintain a healthy human microbiome. We should colonize Mars Edit Argument Eventually there will be another mass extinction event, human-caused or not. Until such time, an un-terraformed Mars will present a hostile setting for venturing pioneers. And here I disagree strongly with Musk and with my late Cambridge colleague Stephen Hawking, who enthuse about rapid build-up of large-scale Martian communities. Another issue has to do with motivation. We can’t do this work without your help. So, it’s these space-faring adventurers, not those of us comfortably adapted to life on Earth, who will spearhead the posthuman era. Not only does it not support life, but it turns out those charming craters aren’t just lovable scars from millions of years ago. But the further north you go, the rougher the conditions get on the surface. Viewpoint: How anti-GMO activist-journalist Carey Gillam primes the glyphosate litigation pump, Daily Digest & Outbreak Coronavirus (Mon-Thu), Mission, Financial Transparency, Governorship, and Editorial Ethics and Corrections, Viewpoint: COVID vaccine successes have made headway in rebutting facile arguments about the dangers of biotechnology, How COVID deniers are taking pages out of the anti-vaccine movement’s playbook. Mars is also subject to winds and seasons, whereas the temperatures on the moon can vacillate between 253 degrees Fahrenheit and -387 degrees Fahrenheit in a single day.The moon’s lack of an atmosphere is the result of its paltry mass and weak gravity. “We could quantify the risks for about a year, but not over the super long term. To beat COVID-19, we need a global vaccination effort. She thinks we should go there, visit the planet and do science there. As Friedman pointed out, this carries some rather heavy existential and philosophical implications. In cases where biology is not up for the task, scientists could use cybernetic enhancements, including artificial neurons or synthetic skin capable of fending off dangerous UV rays. The developing fetus, she said, is likely to sit higher up in the womb owing to the lower gravity, which will press upon the mother’s diaphragm, making it hard for the mother to breathe. When it comes to terraforming Mars, there’s also the logistics to consider, and the materials available to the geoengineers who would dare to embark upon such a multi-generational project. We’re gonna colonize Mars. underground or in bases] forever. Our DNA would have to be tailored specifically to enable a long, healthy life on Mars, including genetic tweaks for good muscle, bone, and brain health. ... Mars is even more expensive, and we aren't likely to get the funds back directly. The suggestion that humans will soon set up bustling, long-lasting colonies on Mars is something many of us take for granted. Perhaps after five or 10 or 20 years of constant exposure to low gravity, similar gravity-related disorders will set in. They’ll harness the super-powerful genetic and cyborg technologies that will be developed in coming decades. The main reason is radiation. Humans once stepped on the lunar surface, but never Mars. Read full, original post: The case against Mars colonization. Hendrix is actually not too negative about Mars. When the the first Apollo mission landed on the moon they only had 30 seconds of fuel left, 30 SECONDS! Yet despite these and a plethora of other issues, there’s this popular idea floating around that we’ll soon be able to set up colonies on Mars with ease. And that’s assuming humans could even reproduce on Mars, which is an open question. The Red Planet is a cold, dead place, with an atmosphere about 100 times thinner than Earth’s. Here’s why, Conspiracy promoter Mike ‘Health Ranger’ Adams built online disinformation Natural News online empire that subverts science, report finds, Mike Adams: Natural News, “everyone’s favorite über-quack #1 anti-science website”—”even the quacks think he’s a quack”, Mission, Financial Transparency, Governorship. That said, colonizing Mars would be a significant achievement if done correctly. These traits could be made heritable, such that Martian colonists could pass down the characteristics to their offspring. The human lifespan on Mars is likely to be significantly less than it is on Earth, though again, we simply don’t know. How come Elon Musk is so obsessed with Mars? And it may not even happen. “It’s not clear whether these changes would plateau at some point. Robots have several inherent advantages. If that's your motivation, then remember, as soon as the first colonists arrive on Mars then it will already "be done". Nevertheless, even with optimistic extrapolation of robotic manufacturing techniques, Mars will not have the division of labor required to make it fully self-sufficient until its population numbers in the millions. Children born on Mars (if that’s even a possibility) might never be able to visit the planet where their species originated. The arguments above show that we are perhaps not ready to go to Mars – at least, not today. In the interim billions will die. Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work? Some astronauts, like NASA’s Scott Kelly, never feel like their old selves again, including declines in cognitive test scores and altered gene function. This can result in a poor sense of balance and compromised motor functions, but research suggests astronauts in microgravity eventually adapt. Our interactive GLP global map explains the status of each country’s regulations for human and agricultural gene editing and gene drives. And of course, if we have not figured out how to deal with problems of our own making here on Earth, there is no guarantee that the same fate would not befall Mars colonists. A few more reasons why we shouldn’t move to Mars include the facts that it’s too cold for us to survive without an abundance of extremely reliable technology, the atmosphere is so thin it counts as a laboratory vacuum on Earth, there are rough and global dust storms and much more, according to Scientist Robert Walker. An artificial womb might be a possible solution, but again, that’s not something we’ll have access to anytime soon, nor does it solve the low-gravity issue as it pertains to fetal development (unless the artificial womb is placed in a centrifuge to simulate gravity). We must work to make this futuristic prospect a reality, but until then, we have to make sure that Earth—the only habitable planet we know of—remains that way. Seidler, an expert in human physiology and kinesiology, said the issue of human gestation on Mars is a troublesome unknown. That big, cold, lonely lump of rock spinning through the endless void 54.6 million kilometers away? A strong case can be made that any attempt to procreate on Mars should be forbidden until more is known. We must colonize Mars to mitigate existential threats to humanity as a species. 10 Good Reasons Not to Colonize Mars Robert Walker , Science 2.0 August 15, 2013 Mars is a fascinating planet, the most like Earth of all the planets in the solar system, and may help us to understand much about the origins of life on Earth. Mars offers no natural protection against solar radiation and galactic cosmic rays. Indeed, modifying humans to make them adaptable to living on Mars will require dramatic changes. As for treating the resulting negative health impacts, whether caused by long-duration stays on the ISS or from long-term living in the low-gravity environment of Mars, “we’re not there yet,” said Seidler. Thus, for decades and perhaps longer, it will be necessary, and forever desirable, for Mars to be able to import specialized manufactured goods from Earth. This is why Mars can benefit us. Posted by 10 hours ago. live on Mars. “A lot of people approach it as thinking we shouldn’t limit ourselves based on practicalities, but I agree, there are a lot of potential negative physiological consequences.”. To humans eventual journey through interplanetary space and landing on Mars will present a setting! Landing on Mars, with radiation exposure being One of them satellite with than... S an open question use of biotechnology, GMOs or gene editing to antigens... Altered sensory inputs that Martian colonists might fare upon a return visit to Earth article and worthy discussion! 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