Colonization of Mars
What does a planet need to have in order to support life? Earth is unique in our solar system because it is the only planet that is supporting life. Some scientists go so far as to say that the Earth is a “perfect planet” because it has features that are the perfect environment for living organisms; these features include our atmosphere, water, and a single moon. Earth is also in a place in our solar system where the Sun gives off the right amount of energy to drive the life. The distance from the Earth to the Sun determines how much of that heat we receive. If it weren’t for our ozone layer and Earth’s magnetic field, harmful rays would penetrate our surface and life would be exterminated. Everything the Earth has to offer us is balanced perfectly to keep life continuous.
Humans would not be able survive on planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune because those planets are Gas Giants. There is no surface, the planet is made up entirely of gas and atmosphere and the cores would thus most likely be liquid. Mercury, the innermost planet in our solar system, is a terrestrial planet which means it has a hard rocky surface. And although that is true*, humans still would not be able to live on Mercury. There is no atmosphere and because Mercury’s distance is substantially closer to the Sun, temperatures are exceedingly high. Venus is the second planet from Sun and is also a terrestrial planet. The size and mass of Venus is relative to Earth in that they are similar under those characteristics. But due to Venus’ dense carbon dioxide atmosphere, living on its surface would be quite impossible. Venus also has dense sulfur dioxide clouds which makes this planet have the strongest greenhouse effect. And because of this Venus is actually hotter in temperature than Mercury. But what about Mars? Are we able to colonize and inhabit the planet Mars?
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, roughly 1.5 AU and it is a...
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• Ashish Jain, Matt Struck, Neil Christopher, "Mars General Information". November 2nd, 2008 .
• "American Scientist Online: The Magazine of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society". © Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. November 2nd, 2008 .
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• Fogg, Martyn J. . "Terraforming Mars: A Review of Research". November 8th, 2008 .
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