10 technologies that will be needed for colonization of Mars
If all goes well, then we’ll send humans to Mars in the next couple of decades. NASA, for example, is planning the first expedition no later than 2030. However, for a successful mission to the red planet are ready not all — and even more so, if humanity wants really to colonize Mars at least a hundred years. What kind of technology will be needed in the first place — the review of Popular mechanics.
Extractors of water. Although recently it became clear that on Mars water is present in liquid form, future astronauts and colonists in any case you will have to extract frozen water from the Martian soil. Will either have to literally dig it out, or evaporate with microwaves. Similar technologies have already been tested on Earth, but testing on Mars will become much more important.
Suits. Permanent stay on Mars will require more advanced suits than we have at the moment. They should be much easier and provide protection from radiation and also help the media to adapt to the unusual power of attraction, especially after long-term space flights.
Spacecraft. To get to Mars, will require much more effort than to dock two ships in orbit or even land people on the moon. At the moment NASA develop and test a multipurpose transport ship “Orion”, capable of unmanned and managed flights to moon and Mars with a crew of four. The first unmanned flight took place in 2014, piloted planned for 2017.
Fuel. Despite all the advantages of “Orion”, it is still quite small, and for many months of travel to Mars will need to stick to it “dwelling unit” in order to save the astronauts lives and sanity. For this colossus need a lot of fuel that takes up space and weighs a lot. The development is the engine that runs on solar energy, but even when successful testing it will be far behind in power from the classic internal combustion engine. Accordingly, to fly to Mars will have much longer.
Equipment for planting. The Martian atmosphere is unique — and it makes humanity unique challenges. We know how to put the ships on Earth with a dense atmosphere, and we know how to put them on the moon, where the atmosphere is absent, but the Mars — somewhere. The safety of landing on the red planet at the moment simply can not be guaranteed, and therefore conducted dozens of tests of various systems of brakes and parachutes.
Agriculture. The technique of growing potatoes is described in the “Martian” was recognized by specialists from NASA is generally true, although far from ideal. Martian soil is rich in oxides of iron, is poorly suited for farming. The colonists will have to use hydroponics or recirculating the water to improve the chances of crop survival. In addition, Mars receives 40% less sunlight than Earth, which also prevents the growth of greenery.
Robots. To facilitate the astronauts and colonists to the task of construction of infrastructure on Mars, it would be nice to send in the first expedition the ship with supplies and robot builders. At the moment developed several variants of robots suitable for this task, including humanoid.
Home. The task of the houses on Mars is similar to the suits — they should protect from radiation and dust storms, and also take into account the characteristics of gravity. They also have to grow the first plants and perhaps animals. Finally, if the astronauts, not to mention the colonists will need to be on the planet for a long time, their house should be comfortable enough.
The pregnancy and motherhood. Sexual relations between astronauts banned, but if on Mars there is a real colony, they “protect” people will not succeed. Pregnancy and the birth of children in such conditions can cause a lot of problems, primarily associated with strong radiation and weak gravitational field. Should consider how to protect the fetus from dangerous rays and take care of the child’s development in terms of extraterrestrial colonies.
The road home. Private project Mars One to colonize the red planet involves a journey into one end. That is perhaps for the best, as scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of technology are assured — volunteers from the “Mars One” chances of survival will be. The mission of NASA, however, implies a return to Earth using the ship “Earth Return Vehicle”. He will circle around Mars, waiting for the end of the expedition, and then return the astronauts home.