Mars news: Scientists are hopeful humans will colonise the Red Planet this century
Dr Robert Zubrin, an American aerospace engineer and head of the Mars Society, has now claimed the plans could come to fruition before the century is out.
Speaking to WP Magazyn in Poland, Dr Zubrin shared his enthusiasm about humanity’s next big adventure in space.
He said: “I am convinced that by the end of the century, the Mars colony will count 10s if not 100,000 residents.
“And these people will, step by step, using the latest tools and technology, adapt the environment to their needs.
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“Because one of the priorities for off-world colonies has to be strong independence from resource shipments from Earth.
“Therefore, we will have to learn how to efficiently harvest plants, use every single lead, lead a recalling scheme on an unimaginable scale, extract raw materials and process them into tools.
“Finally, we will have to try and control the hostile climate.”
NASA aims to land the first humans on Mars through a two-stage programme, dubbed Moon to Mars.
The space agency will first land astronauts on the Moon by the year 2024 and establish a permanent base of operations on the Moon and in lunar orbit.
Then, NASA will use the knowledge gained from settling the Moon to launch astronauts towards Mars.
By the end of the century, the Mars colony will count 10s if not 100,000 residents.
NASA said: “Exploration of the Moon and Mars is intertwined.
“The Moon provides an opportunity to test new tools, instruments and equipment that could be used on Mars, including human habitats, life support systems, and technologies and practices that could help us build self-sustaining outposts away from Earth.”
And on February 19, US Vice President Mike Pence said: “The president has made it clear that we’re going to accomplish this goal by any means necessary.”
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But NASA is not the only player with a stake in reaching the Red Planet.
Rocket mogul Elon Musk hopes to reach the Red Planet in the coming years with his powerful Starship rocket.
Dr Zubrin has even argued Mr Musk will land on Mars before NASA or any other space agency.
He said: “Even if every one of his projects has a two or three-year delay, it will eventually be realised. His determination is enormous.”
The scientist has now argued technology will allow us to rapidly colonised the red planet.
“You will see that it will all develop rapidly because technology happens to develop exponentially, that is, one invention brings us locker to the next one, one solution helps create another one.
“The Martian colonists will have to use all their knowledge, all of their ingenuity, because only this will help them survive in an unfavourable environment, and in the long run transform this environment into a friendly life.”
SpaceX aims to send its first unmanned cargo mission to Mars by the year 2022.
The California-based company will then look to set up a base of operations for future manned landings.