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Mars Bars

Posted by tufolib on April 7, 2015 at 6:30 AM

There are a significant number of barriers to setting up life on Mars, and nearly all of them aren't known to much of the general public, or fully realised by everyone involved in colonising a seemingly dead and inhospitable planet!

There are four words that have been with us for a very long time - fire, water, earth and air, although not always placed in that order by different cultures, but none of these as we know them exist on Mars! Of course, it takes a lot more to create sustainable life, so a lot more secrets will have to be revealed before permanent residency can happen!

One of the most serious barriers to life is the static mantle and core. Neither is believed to move around (apart from dust storms on the surface) because no magnetic field has been detected beyond the planet. This will also cause physiological changes in future Martians from Earth. Their bodies will immediately begin to adapt to the lighter gravity unless an artificial one - and appropriate atmosphere fill the interiors of biospheres to equal that of Earth's environment!

Some of the elements and their molecular compounds are there - it is just going to be a lot of work for the new residents to recreate the technology we have on Earth. The elements I have read about include aluminium, calcium, iron, magnesium, nickel, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium, silicon and sulphur. Carbon is missing from this list, so it will have to be extracted from the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere. I don't see how steel is going to be produced with it, although keeping it in good condition shouldn't be much of a problem with a very low amount of oxygen in the atmosphere!

Apparently, water can only be stored inside biospheres where the new residents will live! If any escapes, it will immediately change state and either be lost to the atmosphere or settle into the ground as ice. It will be like trying to boil the jug for a cuppa on Mt. Everest - the atmospheric pressure is just too low to do what we can at sea level on Earth.

Speaking of atmosphere - it contains argon, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, chlorine, krypton, neon, nitric oxide, ozone, nitrogen and xenon. With only a small amount of nitrogen, there is no hope of growing flowers in gardens outside to give to the ladies! Apparently, there is no methane, so cooking with gas can be ruled out, and solar panels won't supply enough power to heat food, so it looks like salads - three times a day, are going to be an everyday event.

I realise that it takes a long time to train personnel for difficult expeditions, but I haven't investigated anything else that has been planned to set Earthlings up safely on another planet! At the moment, the odds of surviving this venture just aren't great. I'm glad I'm not going - I like to plan ahead, but I don't have all of the information!

Categories: Ray Thomas

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