10 Reasons Why Colonizing Mars Is A Terrible Idea

article written by thinker and writer R.K. Wickham

Colonizing Mars Is A Terrible Idea

Image Source: Pexels

Anyone who’s anyone is familiar with Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, and his plans to colonize the red planet, using his interstellar exploration program SpaceX. Yet, in regards to more pressing manners, this idea, when put into practice, will only hinder the development of mankind.

Those wishing to leave this good green earth in favor of our celestial neighbor will be in for a rude awakening upon realizing their time could be better spent back on this globe, working to remedy the impacts of issues that are highly prevalent in today’s geopolitical climate.

For those still unsure what it is I’m talking about, just hang tight, as I divulge what is irrefutable in the eyes of realists everywhere. Yes, I am aware that’s a pretentious statement, and I hope it has caught your attention, readers.

Here are 10 reasons why humanity is better off not leaving homework undone before settling on other worlds.

1. Terraforming an entire planet is much harder than one might think

As things already are, we can hardly treat our own ecosystem with respect, so why bother with establishing a breathable atmosphere on a planet that is even more unforgiving than the world we currently inhabit?

Those brainiacs behind the development of a whole new environment only make it sound easy on paper because they want the masses to feel like there are greater places to inhabit that are just beyond our grasp. This is only half-true.

Terraforming an entire planet is much harder than one might think

Image Source: Pexels

There is only so much that can be done with our current level of technology, and that includes getting several dozen individuals into space without incident, which is likely to go awry on the way to Mars.

Individuals will undoubtedly seek “intimacy,” during the voyage to Mars, which is a problem in more ways than I count, given that adaptive measures are limited once these participants are on their own once in space and have to tend to expectant mothers.

In any event, humanity is greatly unprepared for the trip to Mars given the current limitations in technology. Even if measures are taken to mitigate complications, there are far more trifles to be experienced.

Seriously, the amount of energy required just to establish a whole new atmosphere is astounding and would result in far more damage to the red planet than what it provides. I do not see any merit in wrecking another world for humanity’s sake.

2. There are too many issues that require attention already

Like a child who is eager to play with their new toy but first needs to finish their veggies, humanity is stepping out of bounds with their desire to send the lot of us into space before tending to the issues that plague Earth.

Mars will be an entirely new challenge, which is why I see little reason in getting us there before we can finish our “veggies.” Too many people are suffering in this world because of issues that can easily be remedied by those who possess an overwhelming abundance of resources.

distribution of food on mars

Image Source: Pexels

While there is already an excess of food and water available to everyone in this world, the means of distribution remains the issue separating those who can eat and those who cannot. To be able to feed however many billion people on Mars would be a problem, given that there is not currently a sustainable means of agriculture.

To add fuel to the fire, with the ongoing climate crisis, humanity is finding itself in even more of a bind when it comes to getting food to those without delivery methods (besides DoorDash). In the years to come, there will only be more and more cultures out there, besides just those in third-world settings, who will have a tough time growing crops and sustaining livestock.

It’s safe to say that those who can afford to develop a means of food accessibility for those less fortunate than the upper class can expend a few more dollars to keep the commonwealth well-fed and willing to cooperate.

Honestly, I feel that the people who wish for the Mars expedition to become a reality just want to sweep ongoing issues under the rug. They want to see this world fall apart, and are content in their climate-controlled homes with fully-stocked pantries because these issues don’t affect them personally.

3. Time is of the essence

In addition to the difficulties in just getting to Mars, there are too many issues present that make it tricky timewise. For starters, there is the issue of figuring when and how to even start this endeavor.

Time is our most valuable currency, as we only have so much of it to spend on tasks that forward our progress as a species. The time spent reviewing individuals to go to Mars, preparing them for the journey, and teaching them the basics of survival in a barren world are better applied to what can already be done here.

The rich benefactors willing to back the voyage to Mars, who are using their limited time scheduling how to accrue funds for this volatile project could instead be racking their brains by looking into what can be resolved using their mountains of dollars.

The billions of individuals who will remain planted on Earth, be it because they failed the screening process or because they simply have no interest, the latter pertaining to yours truly, see no rationale in throwing away their money.

The likelihood of this project succeeding is slim given our current state, in reference to the economy as well as technology. There is too much riding on this.

As there is no guarantee of successfully reaching Mars on the first few attempts, there are better ways that time can be spent than on such a potentially fruitless effort.

Those who wish for us to live among the stars are wasting everyone’s time, including their own. It just seems to me they want to focus on an out-of-this-world prospect as a way to boost morale rather than using their time wisely, like trying to find a cure for cancer or the energy crisis.

4. It’s not for everyone

One’s mind can only handle so much. As such, there is a strong likelihood that even those who pass the screening process for the SpaceX initiative will not be able to endure what awaits them on their way to the red planet.

Just being an astronaut is difficult for these same reasons. Apart from cramped conditions inside the spaceship, individuals will have to put up with a lack of sociability, as they will be stuck with the same individuals for however many months, which is likely to get old real fast.

It

Image Source: Pexels

Without a wide, open atmosphere, and an environment that can suit everyone, individuals onboard that ship will likely become depressed, and some even irritable. You can only circle one area so many times without losing your mind.

I know I wouldn’t be capable of enduring the trek to Mars. Even if my anxiety can be remedied on the ship, and I already can handle claustrophobia, there is no way I could spend months being trapped like a sardine in the vacuum of space with the same individuals for however many months, even if we do get along. It’d be suffocating.

Putting humans in a spaceship for months on end is like putting a horse in proximity to a carousel; the afflicted individuals will not be able to handle it during that period without the desire to break everything in the surrounding area due to a declining mental state.

As things currently are with the ongoing socioeconomic crisis, too many people are stressed out and are unfit candidates for the expedition, and putting them in a vacuum-sealed box for the span of almost a year seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

5. It’s a health hazard

In part from being stuck in a ship, individuals traveling to the red planet will be rolling the dice on whether or not they will contract awful afflictions from their time inside what is essentially a microwave.

Without an atmosphere, the individuals traveling to Mars will be at an even higher risk for cancer due to lacking that “filter.” A metal box will not keep out carcinogenic agents, and lead is only so helpful at keeping individuals safe.

It

Image Source: Bayer Pharmaceuticals

Even if the craft housing those who plan to live on Mars is not that close to the Sun, the ambient radiation from nearby planets such as Venus, and those that transmit from Jupiter, will likely give the majority of passengers cancer before they even set foot on the red planet. That doesn’t even count other maladies that can be contracted inside the ship.

As in an office setting, so many individuals inhabiting the same space will result in the transmission of diseases such as the common cold and influenza, and if SpaceX decides to put individuals from other nations on board, the ship will become an even greater biohazard.

There is only so much one can do to stay healthy, and being stuck in a ship with individuals carrying god-knows-what will only result in an epidemic that could potentially affect the colonization process in the long haul.

Me, being the germaphobe I am, can hardly stand being in the same space with strangers. If I had to endure such a burden onboard the rocket to Mars, I’d go out of my mind for sure.

6. Mars isn’t exactly human-friendly

Continuing on with the idea of Mars being a health hazard, the red planet is not a suitable environment for us humans for a multitude of reasons.

Due to its distance, Mars does not receive the same amount of heat from the Sun as Earth does, in part because of this and also its thin atmosphere and lighter density.

mars is not human friendly

source: vanderbilt

As a result, the very soil that covers the surface of Mars is irradiated to a toxic degree, preventing any possibility of propagating flora. The only option at that point is to establish greenhouses, which, again, is tricky due to the radiation.

Standard windows won’t repel radiation, and covering them with frozen carbon dioxide and dirt will prevent any light from getting through altogether, leading to a decline in the mental health of colonists, from lack of food as well as vitamin D.

Though seeing the red planet be made into another blue and green globe is quite the prospect, accomplishing said goal comes with too many hazards, both environmental and humanitarian, for some to consider the endeavor worth it.

Sorry, but I’m not going to risk my safety on a planet that’s anti-human. Until Mars is safe enough for me to go outside shirtless (which is unlikely to occur in my lifetime), I’ll gladly stay where the grass is green.

7. Mars is not energy-efficient

Mars does not leave us with many options for sustainable energy save for what we bring there. Any attempts at creating new alternative means of powering machines will not be very successful without outside help.

Though the surface of Mars is irradiated, due to how far it is from the Sun, it does not receive as much light, leaving solar power as an insufficient means of electricity, and the extreme winds from a weaker atmosphere create more problems than it solve.

dusty mars isn

image source: brobible

The volatile environment created by a weak atmosphere would only allow wind power to work as a viable option, and even then, the environment is so extreme it might damage the equipment.

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Due to circumstances, I would prefer not to get into it, my parent’s house is rather dusty, which makes it difficult to change some of my devices because of dust clogging the charging ports. The dust on Mars is even finer, allowing it to infiltrate and effectively destroy machines from the inside. I’d hate to have such an issue present itself to my Android, let alone billion-dollar NASA equipment.

Mars leaves very little in way of sustaining electrical equipment, and thanks to the difficulties that lie on the surface, there is very little humankind can do to remedy the situation, at least at this moment in time.

Nomophobia aside, living on Mars would be an absolute nightmare without the necessary means to keep our electronics operational and free of space dust. I couldn’t bear to see vital medical equipment fail, all because some smart alec thought settling on Mars was a good idea without the right countermeasures.

8. Only health junkies could take the trip

Asides from other planets, space, in general, is also hostile towards us humans. It can literally hinder our development and make the simplest of tasks impossible save for only the most dedicated of individuals

Just inhabiting Zero-G is taxing on the human body, as it causes accelerated degradation of muscle and bone tissue compared to that of a standard sedentary lifestyle on Earth.

fitness and exercising to avoid muscle degradation in space

image source: twimg

As Newton’s third law of motion dictates, any action made will have an equal and opposite reaction when force is applied. In an environment where the laws of physics differ slightly from that of a planetoid, staying in shape becomes difficult.

Personally, I would not be fond of living in space, even if it was only for a few months, as I do not possess the willpower to adopt a whole new form of exercise altogether. So much would differ from my standard routine that I could not imagine I’d operate the same, even when I return to life on solid ground. Those who can do so must be rather flexible.

Life in space will be treacherous for those who take the maiden voyage to Mars, but it will be interesting to see just how many of those individuals will be able to handle the psychological stress of needing to exercise almost non-stop.

Though I do work out as a means to burn stress, I don’t possess the level of determination like some people to exercise six hours or more a day. Being in space would make me a skinny legend, but not in the way I want.

9. Money talks

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur that he is, should have no problem getting to Mars, given the billions of dollars he sleeps with every night. Yet, for the commonwealth who can barely sustain themselves, they will be in for quite a rude awakening.

Given the insurmountable funds needed to fuel a spaceship, sustain its crew, and actually get them to their destination, there are better uses for said money than investing in a trip that might not even play out.

Image Source: Pexels

As things already stand, it seems unlikely we will be able to launch by 2024, and it does not sound likely that Musk and other benefactors will give the participants a free ride.

I could write a thousand term papers on all the better uses for that money than some hair-brained scheme to fulfill a pipe dream, but such a discussion is delicate. For the sake of the average bear, like myself, I would rather put my money somewhere that gives me a sense of satisfaction and completion, like paying off my car or student loan debt. The Mars trip just seems wasteful.

In comparison to the more prevalent issues that need remedying, like climate change, world hunger, etc., sending a group of wannabe astronauts to a hostile environment does not sound like something that will end well.

It makes me angry that countries like the US who inhabit individuals with an excess of money don’t incentivize those individuals to take action, given that the wealth they possess is far more than one should be capable of spending in a single lifetime.

10. In space, no one can hear you scream

Once the SpaceX crew lands on Mars, they will be on their own for the most part. If any sort of emergency comes up, they will need to fend for themselves until ground control can reach them in a timely manner.

Based on Mars’s orbital cycle, a rescue crew would only be able to make contact every two years or so. Otherwise, it would take much longer to be able to provide aid to those with potentially life-threatening difficulties.

no one will be around to hear and help you

image source: astronomytrek

In the United States at least, just being able to get to the hospital on time to treat an injury or illness is difficult, so imagine how frustrating it would be if the supplies necessary to treat such ailments could only be provided every couple of years.

I could not imagine being stranded on another planet, where the resources needed to keep everyone alive and well are seldom available. Though I am not present to count just how much will be brought along on the trip to Mars, it feels even a surplus of medical supplies and backup equipment will not suffice in sustaining the wellbeing of the colonists.

For those who think it is possible to toughen out any sort of medical emergency without outside aid, consider the likelihood of survival as a child alone in the world. There is little possibility of survival.

Living in the US, I am already disappointed with the healthcare system we have, but if any possibility of getting medical aid in space were thrown out the window, I’d probably just end things right there, by throwing myself into the void.

There is very little that can be done to ensure that those who take off for Mars will make it there alive and well. As things stand, better use of humanity’s efforts in tackling the more tangible problems present on Earth.

10 Reasons Colonizing Mars is a Bad Idea

Although Space-X President Elon Musk has big plans for settling the red planet, boasting of big rockets, nuclear explosions, and an expansive system capable of transporting hundreds of thousands of people off-world, he may have to rethink those plans.

Key figures at NASA (such as Wernher von Braun) have also championed Mars as a next logical step in humanity’s conquest of the stars, but recent research and discoveries suggest that attempting to settle Mars may not be such a great idea after all.

From dangerous Martian regolith, low gravity, and harmful cosmic radiation, Mars seems like the worst environment for human life in the solar system.

Here are 10 reasons why settling Mars is a really, really bad idea.

10. There May Be Life Beneath the Martian Surface

With the discovery of liquid water on Mars, scientists are eager to see what else lies beneath the surface. NASA has long stated that we need only to “follow the water” in order to find extra-terrestrial life, based on the fact that where there’s liquid water on Earth, there is also life. Through the last twenty years, we’ve sent dozens of probes to the red planet, and have discovered significant subterranean sources of water as well as occasional water on the surface. It’s clear that there is water beneath the surface of Mars, and scientists think that it’s only a matter of time before we find life.

Recent research suggests that Mars has a similar subterranean network of microbial life to Earth (dubbed the deep biosphere) and life may not have ever attempted to evolve on the Martian surface at all, suggesting that we humans have an inherent bias when imagining where life can or cannot evolve beyond the safety of Earth.

If settlers were to go to Mars, it would be nearly impossible for them to not have an impact on that life and this would be a violation of planetary protection rules currently in place.

9. Terraforming Mars May Be Impossible

Science fiction filmmakers and novelists have been in love with the idea of transforming Mars into an Earthlike paradise for decades. In 2018 Elon Musk touted the possibility of terraforming Mars by detonating nuclear warheads over its icy polar regions (which are composed of frozen carbon dioxide). The result, Musk hoped, would allow the red planet to warm, thanks to a “healthy” amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

But recent research suggests that terraforming Mars might be impossible.

While it is undoubtedly true that carbon dioxide is present in the Martian atmosphere, soil, and in its polar ice, there simply isn’t enough of it there to allow for the runaway greenhouse effect Musk hopes for.

Bruce Jakosky and his partner, Christopher Edwards, an assistant professor of Planetary Science at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, found an estimate for the total amount of carbon dioxide on Mars by interpreting data from probes sent to the planet over the course of the last two decades.

Together, they concluded that while the polar regions of the planet contain the most readily accessible supply of carbon dioxide, melting them (such as with Musk’s proposed method of nuclear detonation) wouldn’t yield enough to terraform Mars.

The team also concluded that strip mining and other means of accessing carbon dioxide in Martian soil would be unfeasible, suggesting that we may be forced to accept the reality that Mars will forever remain an alien and inhospitable world for us.

8. No Magnetosphere

4.2 billion years ago Mars is theorized to have been much like the Earth, but something happened around that time which robbed it of its magnetic field, allowing the solar wind to strip its atmosphere away over the next 500 million years.

Here on Earth, the magnetic field is essential to keeping our atmosphere safe from the solar wind and keeping harmful cosmic rays from bombarding the surface.

Even if someone like Elon Musk was successful in creating a sufficiently thick atmosphere on Mars, without a magnetosphere, it would be stripped away by the solar wind.

Some scientists have proposed creating an artificial magnetic field at the L1 Lagrange point, where a potential satellite producing the magnetic field would be at gravitational equilibrium with the sun’s (meaning that it would always stay between the sun and Mars), but this technology is far beyond our current capabilities. Even those who have proposed it have labeled it as “fanciful” citing that many advances in plasma physics would have to happen before it could become a reality.

7. Negative Effects of Low Martian Gravity on Humans

For the past few billion years, life has evolved from within an unchanging gravitational field, and to venture beyond that field produces challenges unthought of by those that first dreamed of men living on other planets.

The human body is constantly working against the pull of gravity. This force shaped our musculature, and without it, our muscles would atrophy.

Experiments on mice in low gravity environments showed that muscle groups in the legs atrophied with in nine days.

Much like our muscles, our skeletal structure is impacted by the lack of a gravitational field equal to the Earth’s. We tend to not think of our skeleton, thinking it to be static, but at the microscopic level it is a complex and diverse system. Without the force of Earth’s gravity being exerted on it, human bones develop what’s known as space-flight-induced osteoporosis. Because almost 100% of the body’s calcium stores are in the skeletal system, as our bones waste away that calcium finds its way into the human cardiovascular system, causing problems ranging from constipation, renal stones, to psychotic bouts with depression.

The problems don’t stop there. It turns out the human heart is heavily dependent on gravity (it’s a muscle, after all), and long exposures to zero-g environments causes the heart to become deconditioned to the work it typically has to perform under natural conditions.

The organs of the inner ear are also adversely affected, causing humans forced to live in zero-g for too long to feel constantly in distress and out of balance. And there are more, less severe problems which can occur, ranging from falling red blood-cell counts, compromised immunity, slower healing, and sleep deprivation.

And though there is some research into supplements which may be able to help Martian settlers maintain healthy muscles, more research would have to be conducted, not to mention the fact of the other ill effects low-gravity seems to have on the human system.

6. Harmful Radiation

A study published in the journal of science in May of 2013 measured the radiation that a crew would be exposed to during a 360 day trip (though, most estimates suggest six months for a one way trip if launched at the right time). The total amount of radiation was measured at 662 +/108 millisieverts (mSv). The study showed that up to 95% of this radiation would be from galactic cosmic rays, a type of radiation which is extremely difficult to shield against.

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Though, for a 210-day trip, the amount of radiation astronauts would be exposed to would still be below the career limit established by NASA.

The Martian surface is totally exposed to the solar wind and cosmic rays thanks to its lack of a magnetic field. The surface is bombarded by levels of radiation 2 and a half times greater than the Earth and occasionally is blasted by one of the sun’s coronal mass ejections. For a bit of perspective on CMEs, the Carrington Event in 1859 was the largest geo magnetic storm on record, it caused brilliant aurora displays around the world and wreaked havoc on the telegraph system. But without a magnetic field, this event would have been much worse.

Humans in developed nations experience a total of .62 rads per year. According to certain studies, the human body can withstand up to 200 rads without sustaining life threatening damage, extended exposure to the levels of radiation detected on Mars would lead to a multitude of health problems including, cancer, genetic damage, and a gruesome radiation sickness fueled demise.

A Mars colony would have to build their habitats beneath the surface in order to receive the same level of protection from cosmic rays and solar radiation as someone who lives on the surface of the Earth does.

But the problems don’t stop there…

5. Water Locked

Though we’ve discovered countless signs of liquid water being on Mars, most of it is locked away in its rocks and rolling crimson sand dunes. We don’t yet have the technology to extract this water, although NASA hosts an “ice challenge” every year in the hopes that some bright engineering student will crack this particular puzzle.

Okay. So, what if we solve this problem in the future? Could settlers drink the water mined from subterranean glaciers or the soil on Mars?

Not right away anyway. The water on Mars is filled with toxic minerals and has far more salt in it than even ocean water does on Earth. These salts are called perchlorates, and they’re highly toxic to us. So toxic, several states in the US have legal limits for perchlorates in their drinking water.

Though, reverse osmosis may be a potential solution to this problem, it remains to be seen how effective this process would be in removing toxic minerals from water mined on Mars.

4. Supplying Mars Colonists

The launch window to get a craft to Mars within a 6-month timeframe happens every 27 months. That means that resupply for any settlers on Mars would have to depend entirely on that window. That also means that cargo ships taking supplies to Mars would have to have enough supplies to last them 27 months, unless NASA or any of the other private space exploration companies are willing to bear the cost of a longer travel period.

The problem with this, is that with our current technology, most space craft require 95% of their weight to be fuel. Supplying on a global scale may be challenging, but it’s nothing compared to the logistics of trying to supply a planet which is 1.5 astronomical units away from the sun.

And then you have to think about the possibility of something going wrong with one of those supply ships. NASA deals with equipment failures on probes and spacecraft all the time, it’s part of the job, but space is dangerous (as eloquently stated by The Martian writer Andy Weir) and a catastrophic failure is entirely possible. Whether the craft is destroyed by micrometeorites, gets fried by a CME, or one of the engines fails, such a catastrophic failure would leave our settlers high and dry for 27 months.

Not to mention that such resupply missions would be extremely expensive. If we take the previous entry’s comments on the water situation on Mars, things get worse, because if the water obtained from mining Martian soil isn’t potable, and there’s no way to purify it, then the options remaining are a) resupply with regular shipments, and b) recycling urine like the astronauts on the ISS do.

3. Air Supply

The primary method for generating air on the ISS is water electrolysis, a process which uses the power of the station’s solar cells to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. Great. Problem solved, right?

Well, as previous sources have described, not so much. Because of the difficulties with producing technologies capable of both mining water from Martian soil and ice, or purifying it, generating air naturally on Mars through electrolysis may be more difficult than it is on the ISS.

The International Space Station is close to Earth, and even though astronauts recycle their fluids as much as possible, they still need to be occasionally resupplied. This would mean that we would have to get enough water to Mars to allow settlers to both, safely consume and to allow for the generation of breathable air, and that’s simply no easy feat to accomplish, given how heavy water is as a payload.

2. Martian Regolith

The soil on Mars is a lot like the moon dust encountered by the Apollo Program astronauts. It’s a course, fine material that easily carries an electrostatic charge, causing it to stick to pretty much everything. On the moon, this caused all kinds of problems. Lunar regolith got into instruments, vents, and even wore down the protective materials of the astronaut’s suits. Before we can even begin to think about settling Mars, we would first have to figure out a method for dealing with regolith.

Now, this problem might seem small, but studies done on regolith have shown that inhaling this stuff can cause problems with the human respiratory system, and the regolith on Mars has harmful perchlorates in it that can make us sick.

1. Psychological Problems

Settlers on Mars will be forced to endure isolation on a magnitude which is impossible on Earth. Sure, you can get stranded in certain parts of the Earth, but home isn’t an entire world away, and the Earth isn’t actively trying to kill you (well, not as badly as Mars would be). Extensive research into the psychological effects of prolonged isolation have suggested that Martian settlers would encounter at least four different psychological challenges, and that those challenges (when combined) would be a ticking time bomb.

To start, colonists would be unable to interact physically with anyone besides their own colleagues (with long distance transmissions to Earth taking at least ten minutes, making conversations more than a little difficult), and this would undoubtably lead to mental illness in some of those permanently stationed on the red planet.

Prolonged isolation has been shown to lead to depression, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, boredom, and emotional instability. Even the most well-trained astronauts still suffer side effects from prolonged isolation.

Life on Mars means that colonists will have to live indoors. They will never again feel what it’s like to see a sunset without a layer of glass and a suit as protection from the Martian elements. Long term confinement comes with its own laundry list of problems as well, such as cognitive impairment and a bunch of psychological issues from the previous list.

The loss of privacy that these colonists would face could lead to stress, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

10 Reasons Why Colonizing Mars Is A Terrible Idea

article written by thinker and writer R.K. Wickham

Colonizing Mars Is A Terrible Idea

Image Source: Pexels

Anyone who’s anyone is familiar with Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, and his plans to colonize the red planet, using his interstellar exploration program SpaceX. Yet, in regards to more pressing manners, this idea, when put into practice, will only hinder the development of mankind.

Those wishing to leave this good green earth in favor of our celestial neighbor will be in for a rude awakening upon realizing their time could be better spent back on this globe, working to remedy the impacts of issues that are highly prevalent in today’s geopolitical climate.

For those still unsure what it is I’m talking about, just hang tight, as I divulge what is irrefutable in the eyes of realists everywhere. Yes, I am aware that’s a pretentious statement, and I hope it has caught your attention, readers.

Here are 10 reasons why humanity is better off not leaving homework undone before settling on other worlds.

1. Terraforming an entire planet is much harder than one might think

As things already are, we can hardly treat our own ecosystem with respect, so why bother with establishing a breathable atmosphere on a planet that is even more unforgiving than the world we currently inhabit?

Those brainiacs behind the development of a whole new environment only make it sound easy on paper because they want the masses to feel like there are greater places to inhabit that are just beyond our grasp. This is only half-true.

Terraforming an entire planet is much harder than one might think

Image Source: Pexels

There is only so much that can be done with our current level of technology, and that includes getting several dozen individuals into space without incident, which is likely to go awry on the way to Mars.

Individuals will undoubtedly seek “intimacy,” during the voyage to Mars, which is a problem in more ways than I count, given that adaptive measures are limited once these participants are on their own once in space and have to tend to expectant mothers.

In any event, humanity is greatly unprepared for the trip to Mars given the current limitations in technology. Even if measures are taken to mitigate complications, there are far more trifles to be experienced.

Seriously, the amount of energy required just to establish a whole new atmosphere is astounding and would result in far more damage to the red planet than what it provides. I do not see any merit in wrecking another world for humanity’s sake.

2. There are too many issues that require attention already

Like a child who is eager to play with their new toy but first needs to finish their veggies, humanity is stepping out of bounds with their desire to send the lot of us into space before tending to the issues that plague Earth.

Mars will be an entirely new challenge, which is why I see little reason in getting us there before we can finish our “veggies.” Too many people are suffering in this world because of issues that can easily be remedied by those who possess an overwhelming abundance of resources.

distribution of food on mars

Image Source: Pexels

While there is already an excess of food and water available to everyone in this world, the means of distribution remains the issue separating those who can eat and those who cannot. To be able to feed however many billion people on Mars would be a problem, given that there is not currently a sustainable means of agriculture.

To add fuel to the fire, with the ongoing climate crisis, humanity is finding itself in even more of a bind when it comes to getting food to those without delivery methods (besides DoorDash). In the years to come, there will only be more and more cultures out there, besides just those in third-world settings, who will have a tough time growing crops and sustaining livestock.

It’s safe to say that those who can afford to develop a means of food accessibility for those less fortunate than the upper class can expend a few more dollars to keep the commonwealth well-fed and willing to cooperate.

Honestly, I feel that the people who wish for the Mars expedition to become a reality just want to sweep ongoing issues under the rug. They want to see this world fall apart, and are content in their climate-controlled homes with fully-stocked pantries because these issues don’t affect them personally.

3. Time is of the essence

In addition to the difficulties in just getting to Mars, there are too many issues present that make it tricky timewise. For starters, there is the issue of figuring when and how to even start this endeavor.

Time is our most valuable currency, as we only have so much of it to spend on tasks that forward our progress as a species. The time spent reviewing individuals to go to Mars, preparing them for the journey, and teaching them the basics of survival in a barren world are better applied to what can already be done here.

The rich benefactors willing to back the voyage to Mars, who are using their limited time scheduling how to accrue funds for this volatile project could instead be racking their brains by looking into what can be resolved using their mountains of dollars.

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The billions of individuals who will remain planted on Earth, be it because they failed the screening process or because they simply have no interest, the latter pertaining to yours truly, see no rationale in throwing away their money.

The likelihood of this project succeeding is slim given our current state, in reference to the economy as well as technology. There is too much riding on this.

As there is no guarantee of successfully reaching Mars on the first few attempts, there are better ways that time can be spent than on such a potentially fruitless effort.

Those who wish for us to live among the stars are wasting everyone’s time, including their own. It just seems to me they want to focus on an out-of-this-world prospect as a way to boost morale rather than using their time wisely, like trying to find a cure for cancer or the energy crisis.

4. It’s not for everyone

One’s mind can only handle so much. As such, there is a strong likelihood that even those who pass the screening process for the SpaceX initiative will not be able to endure what awaits them on their way to the red planet.

Just being an astronaut is difficult for these same reasons. Apart from cramped conditions inside the spaceship, individuals will have to put up with a lack of sociability, as they will be stuck with the same individuals for however many months, which is likely to get old real fast.

It

Image Source: Pexels

Without a wide, open atmosphere, and an environment that can suit everyone, individuals onboard that ship will likely become depressed, and some even irritable. You can only circle one area so many times without losing your mind.

I know I wouldn’t be capable of enduring the trek to Mars. Even if my anxiety can be remedied on the ship, and I already can handle claustrophobia, there is no way I could spend months being trapped like a sardine in the vacuum of space with the same individuals for however many months, even if we do get along. It’d be suffocating.

Putting humans in a spaceship for months on end is like putting a horse in proximity to a carousel; the afflicted individuals will not be able to handle it during that period without the desire to break everything in the surrounding area due to a declining mental state.

As things currently are with the ongoing socioeconomic crisis, too many people are stressed out and are unfit candidates for the expedition, and putting them in a vacuum-sealed box for the span of almost a year seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

5. It’s a health hazard

In part from being stuck in a ship, individuals traveling to the red planet will be rolling the dice on whether or not they will contract awful afflictions from their time inside what is essentially a microwave.

Without an atmosphere, the individuals traveling to Mars will be at an even higher risk for cancer due to lacking that “filter.” A metal box will not keep out carcinogenic agents, and lead is only so helpful at keeping individuals safe.

It

Image Source: Bayer Pharmaceuticals

Even if the craft housing those who plan to live on Mars is not that close to the Sun, the ambient radiation from nearby planets such as Venus, and those that transmit from Jupiter, will likely give the majority of passengers cancer before they even set foot on the red planet. That doesn’t even count other maladies that can be contracted inside the ship.

As in an office setting, so many individuals inhabiting the same space will result in the transmission of diseases such as the common cold and influenza, and if SpaceX decides to put individuals from other nations on board, the ship will become an even greater biohazard.

There is only so much one can do to stay healthy, and being stuck in a ship with individuals carrying god-knows-what will only result in an epidemic that could potentially affect the colonization process in the long haul.

Me, being the germaphobe I am, can hardly stand being in the same space with strangers. If I had to endure such a burden onboard the rocket to Mars, I’d go out of my mind for sure.

6. Mars isn’t exactly human-friendly

Continuing on with the idea of Mars being a health hazard, the red planet is not a suitable environment for us humans for a multitude of reasons.

Due to its distance, Mars does not receive the same amount of heat from the Sun as Earth does, in part because of this and also its thin atmosphere and lighter density.

mars is not human friendly

source: vanderbilt

As a result, the very soil that covers the surface of Mars is irradiated to a toxic degree, preventing any possibility of propagating flora. The only option at that point is to establish greenhouses, which, again, is tricky due to the radiation.

Standard windows won’t repel radiation, and covering them with frozen carbon dioxide and dirt will prevent any light from getting through altogether, leading to a decline in the mental health of colonists, from lack of food as well as vitamin D.

Though seeing the red planet be made into another blue and green globe is quite the prospect, accomplishing said goal comes with too many hazards, both environmental and humanitarian, for some to consider the endeavor worth it.

Sorry, but I’m not going to risk my safety on a planet that’s anti-human. Until Mars is safe enough for me to go outside shirtless (which is unlikely to occur in my lifetime), I’ll gladly stay where the grass is green.

7. Mars is not energy-efficient

Mars does not leave us with many options for sustainable energy save for what we bring there. Any attempts at creating new alternative means of powering machines will not be very successful without outside help.

Though the surface of Mars is irradiated, due to how far it is from the Sun, it does not receive as much light, leaving solar power as an insufficient means of electricity, and the extreme winds from a weaker atmosphere create more problems than it solve.

dusty mars isn

image source: brobible

The volatile environment created by a weak atmosphere would only allow wind power to work as a viable option, and even then, the environment is so extreme it might damage the equipment.

Due to circumstances, I would prefer not to get into it, my parent’s house is rather dusty, which makes it difficult to change some of my devices because of dust clogging the charging ports. The dust on Mars is even finer, allowing it to infiltrate and effectively destroy machines from the inside. I’d hate to have such an issue present itself to my Android, let alone billion-dollar NASA equipment.

Mars leaves very little in way of sustaining electrical equipment, and thanks to the difficulties that lie on the surface, there is very little humankind can do to remedy the situation, at least at this moment in time.

Nomophobia aside, living on Mars would be an absolute nightmare without the necessary means to keep our electronics operational and free of space dust. I couldn’t bear to see vital medical equipment fail, all because some smart alec thought settling on Mars was a good idea without the right countermeasures.

8. Only health junkies could take the trip

Asides from other planets, space, in general, is also hostile towards us humans. It can literally hinder our development and make the simplest of tasks impossible save for only the most dedicated of individuals

Just inhabiting Zero-G is taxing on the human body, as it causes accelerated degradation of muscle and bone tissue compared to that of a standard sedentary lifestyle on Earth.

fitness and exercising to avoid muscle degradation in space

image source: twimg

As Newton’s third law of motion dictates, any action made will have an equal and opposite reaction when force is applied. In an environment where the laws of physics differ slightly from that of a planetoid, staying in shape becomes difficult.

Personally, I would not be fond of living in space, even if it was only for a few months, as I do not possess the willpower to adopt a whole new form of exercise altogether. So much would differ from my standard routine that I could not imagine I’d operate the same, even when I return to life on solid ground. Those who can do so must be rather flexible.

Life in space will be treacherous for those who take the maiden voyage to Mars, but it will be interesting to see just how many of those individuals will be able to handle the psychological stress of needing to exercise almost non-stop.

Though I do work out as a means to burn stress, I don’t possess the level of determination like some people to exercise six hours or more a day. Being in space would make me a skinny legend, but not in the way I want.

9. Money talks

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur that he is, should have no problem getting to Mars, given the billions of dollars he sleeps with every night. Yet, for the commonwealth who can barely sustain themselves, they will be in for quite a rude awakening.

Given the insurmountable funds needed to fuel a spaceship, sustain its crew, and actually get them to their destination, there are better uses for said money than investing in a trip that might not even play out.

Image Source: Pexels

As things already stand, it seems unlikely we will be able to launch by 2024, and it does not sound likely that Musk and other benefactors will give the participants a free ride.

I could write a thousand term papers on all the better uses for that money than some hair-brained scheme to fulfill a pipe dream, but such a discussion is delicate. For the sake of the average bear, like myself, I would rather put my money somewhere that gives me a sense of satisfaction and completion, like paying off my car or student loan debt. The Mars trip just seems wasteful.

In comparison to the more prevalent issues that need remedying, like climate change, world hunger, etc., sending a group of wannabe astronauts to a hostile environment does not sound like something that will end well.

It makes me angry that countries like the US who inhabit individuals with an excess of money don’t incentivize those individuals to take action, given that the wealth they possess is far more than one should be capable of spending in a single lifetime.

10. In space, no one can hear you scream

Once the SpaceX crew lands on Mars, they will be on their own for the most part. If any sort of emergency comes up, they will need to fend for themselves until ground control can reach them in a timely manner.

Based on Mars’s orbital cycle, a rescue crew would only be able to make contact every two years or so. Otherwise, it would take much longer to be able to provide aid to those with potentially life-threatening difficulties.

no one will be around to hear and help you

image source: astronomytrek

In the United States at least, just being able to get to the hospital on time to treat an injury or illness is difficult, so imagine how frustrating it would be if the supplies necessary to treat such ailments could only be provided every couple of years.

I could not imagine being stranded on another planet, where the resources needed to keep everyone alive and well are seldom available. Though I am not present to count just how much will be brought along on the trip to Mars, it feels even a surplus of medical supplies and backup equipment will not suffice in sustaining the wellbeing of the colonists.

For those who think it is possible to toughen out any sort of medical emergency without outside aid, consider the likelihood of survival as a child alone in the world. There is little possibility of survival.

Living in the US, I am already disappointed with the healthcare system we have, but if any possibility of getting medical aid in space were thrown out the window, I’d probably just end things right there, by throwing myself into the void.

There is very little that can be done to ensure that those who take off for Mars will make it there alive and well. As things stand, better use of humanity’s efforts in tackling the more tangible problems present on Earth.

Source https://www.sociomix.com/diaries/stories/10-reasons-why-colonizing-mars-is-a-terrible-idea/1631553955#:~:text=Continuing%20on%20with%20the%20idea%20of%20Mars%20being,and%20also%20its%20thin%20atmosphere%20and%20lighter%20density.

Source https://www.toptenz.net/10-reasons-colonizing-mars-is-a-bad-idea.php

Source https://www.sociomix.com/diaries/stories/10-reasons-why-colonizing-mars-is-a-terrible-idea/1631553955

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