This fascinating documentary is about proposed Mars exploration projects and the ultimate colonisiaion of humans on Mars. Dr Robert Zubrin has passionately fought throughout his career for Mars to be studied, explored and eventually lived on. He claims that mankind is a species which can, should and will travel through space.
The documentary outlines the way in which we will be able to engineer Mars making it habitable for mankind. This involves increasing Mars’s atmospheric temperature by introducing greenhouse gases. This increase in temperature would melt frozen water, increase the fertility and enable life to be formed. The first step would be sending humans to Mars, which could happen as soon as 2018 or it may take many years more. From then it would take decades to fully explore the planet and centuries to colonise it.
Dr Robert Zubrin made lots of comparisons with famous explorers. He claimed that Lewis and Clark while discovering West America entered into unknown lands and succeeded. They faced fears of dragons and unknown dangers. Dr Zubrin affirms issues of radiation and other such space phenomena to be on the same level as Lewis and Clark’s prior concerns.
While exploring Mars, would be phenomenal, we could learn about new topography, historic life (from fossils), geomorphology and much more; part of me feels slightly terrified at the concept of putting our mark on another planet. Would we manipulate it and cause detriment just as we have done with Earth?
The documentary talks about the fact that Mars has all elements needed to build structures, including making plastic. Have we not learnt that plastic has caused enough issues to our oceans, wildlife and waste removal systems. So why would plastic be wanted on Mars too?
The idea of starting from scratch on a new planet could pose us with an idealistic, problem free and exciting new place. However, to what extent are we as a species able to create this utopia. It is hard when people are most concerned with development, material possessions and success.
The first step to colonising Mars would be to make it a place where humans can survive – creating self sustaining food, water and shelter. What comes next? Once Mars has been fully adapted for our basic needs, will we stop there or will we want more?
Another question that comes to mind, is who will own Mars? Will the first country to place their flag on the ground take charge? Wars could start over the ownership of Mars.
While, exploring Mars is a scientific procedure it is also a philosophical one. Like all things that are unknown, questions, fears and theories are raised.
What do you think? Should we be spending hundreds of billions on leaving our mark on new lands millions of miles away or should we focus on fixing what we have on our doorstep first?
For a more light hearted but still informative watch on the subject I recommend ‘Martian’ https://wearegoingonabearhunt.com/2015/10/12/martian/ . It’s a great movie, pretty funny and teaches you a fair bit about Mars.
Who knows one day maybe one day our grandchildren’s, grandchildren may be travelling though space for their holidays.
Post comments, thoughts and opinions below.