Conditions for human habitation An expedition-style crewed mission would operate on the surface, but for limited amounts of time Dust is one concern for Mars missions
Conditions on the surface of Mars are closer to the conditions on Earth in terms of temperature and sunlight than on any other planet or moon, except for the cloud tops of Venus.
The reduced gravity well of Mars and its position in the Solar System may facilitate Mars–Earth trade and may provide an economic rationale for continued settlement of the
The Mars Gravity Biosatellite was a proposed project designed to learn more about what effect Mars’ lower surface gravity would have on humans, but it was cancelled due to
a lack of funding.
 If the colony is to scale beyond a few people, systems will also need to maximise use of local resources to reduce the need for resupply from Earth, for example by recycling
water and oxygen and being adapted to be able to use any water found on Mars, whatever form it is in.
For example, if electricity generation systems rely on solar power, large energy storage facilities will also be needed to cover the periods when dust storms block out the
sun, and automatic dust removal systems may be needed to avoid human exposure to conditions on the surface.
Once on Mars with its lesser surface gravity (38% percent of Earth’s), these health effects would be a serious concern.
NASA has found that direct communication can be blocked for about two weeks every synodic period, around the time of superior conjunction when the Sun is directly between
Mars and Earth, although the actual duration of the communications blackout varies from mission to mission depending on various factors—such as the amount of link margin designed into the communications system, and the minimum data rate
that is acceptable from a mission standpoint.
 A three-year exposure to such levels would exceed the safety limits currently adopted by NASA, and the risk of developing cancer due to radiation exposure after a
Mars mission could be two times greater than what scientists previously thought.
 Through experience and training, astronauts on the ISS have shown it is possible to use far less, and that around 70% of what is used can be recycled using the ISS water
Since terraforming cannot be expected as a near-term solution, habitable structures on Mars would need to be constructed with pressure vessels similar to spacecraft, capable
of containing a pressure between 30 and 100 kPa.
 Modified transfer trajectories that cut the travel time down to four to seven months in space are possible with incrementally higher amounts of energy and fuel compared
to a Hohmann transfer orbit, and are in standard use for robotic Mars missions.
The effect of long-term travel in interplanetary space is unknown, but scientists estimate an added risk of between 1% and 19% (one estimate is 3.4%) for males to die of cancer
because of the radiation during the journey to Mars and back to Earth.
) Similar systems would be needed on Mars but would need to be much more efficient, since regular robotic deliveries of water to Mars would be prohibitively expensive
(the ISS is supplied with water four times per year).
 They propose that cyanobacteria could be used directly for various applications, including the production of food, fuel and oxygen, but also indirectly: products from
their culture could support the growth of other organisms, opening the way to a wide range of life-support biological processes based on Martian resources.
 Occasional solar proton events (SPEs) produce much higher doses, as observed in September 2017, when NASA reported radiation levels on the surface of Mars were temporarily
doubled, and were associated with an aurora 25-times brighter than any observed earlier, due to a massive, and unexpected, solar storm.
 As a result of the higher radiation in the Martian environment, the summary report of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee released in 2009 reported
that “Mars is not an easy place to visit with existing technology and without a substantial investment of resources.
However, the size and power of the equipment needed for these distances make the L4 and L5 locations unrealistic for relay stations, and the inherent stability of these regions,
although beneficial in terms of station-keeping, also attracts dust and asteroids, which could pose a risk.
 However, the surface is not hospitable to humans or most known life forms due to the radiation, greatly reduced air pressure, and an atmosphere with only 0.16% oxygen.
 A satellite at the L4 or L5 Earth–Sun Lagrangian point could serve as a relay during this period to solve the problem; even a constellation of communications satellites
would be a minor expense in the context of a full colonization program.
 Human survival on Mars would require living in artificial Mars habitats with complex life-support systems.
 If one assumes carbon nanotube construction material will be available with a strength of 130 GPa (19,000,000 psi) then a space elevator could be built to land people
and material on Mars.
Different technologies have been developed to assist long-term space exploration and may be adapted for habitation on Mars.
 Radiation Because of so much radiation reaching Mars’ surface, the planet has lost its inner dynamo despite its far distance from the Sun compared
Some ideas of possible technologies that may be able to contribute to the terraforming of Mars have been conjectured, but none would be able to bring the entire planet into
the Earth-like habitat pictured in science fiction.
Current rotations on the International Space Station put astronauts in zero gravity for six months, a comparable length of time to a one-way trip to Mars.
Global dust storms are common throughout the year and can cover the entire planet for weeks, blocking sunlight from reaching the surface.
 Equipment needed for colonization Colonization of Mars would require a wide variety of equipment—both equipment to directly provide services to humans and production
equipment used to produce food, propellant, water, energy and breathable oxygen—in order to support human colonization efforts.
 The relatively strong gravity and the presence of aerodynamic effects make it difficult to land heavy, crewed spacecraft with thrusters only, as was done with the Apollo
Moon landings, yet the atmosphere is too thin for aerodynamic effects to be of much help in aerobraking and landing a large vehicle.
 The atmosphere Atmospheric pressure on Mars is far below the Armstrong limit at which people can survive without pressure suits.
Some early Mars colonies might specialize in developing local resources for Martian consumption, such as water and/or ice.
There are ways to mitigate against solar radiation, but without much of an atmosphere, the only solution to the GCR flux is heavy shielding amounting to roughly 15 centimeters
of steel, 1 meter of rock, or 3 meters of water, limiting human colonists to living underground most of the time.
Researchers have developed a Martian simulation called HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) that places scientists in a simulated Martian laboratory to
study the psychological effects of isolation, repetitive tasks, and living in close-quarters with other scientists for up to a year at a time.
• Equipment for energy production and energy storage, some solar and perhaps nuclear as well Mars greenhouses feature in many colonization designs, especially for food production
and other purposes Various technologies and devices for Mars are shown in the illustration of a Mars base • Food production spaces and equipment.
MARIE found that radiation levels in orbit above Mars are 2.5 times higher than at the International Space Station.
Difficulties and hazards include radiation exposure during a trip to Mars and on its surface, toxic soil, low gravity, the isolation that accompanies Mars’ distance from Earth,
a lack of water, and cold temperatures.
 Also due to the thinness of the atmosphere, the temperature difference between day and night is much larger than on Earth, typically around 70 °C (125 °F).
 Such a relay avoids the problems of satellites stationed at either L4 or L5 by being significantly closer to the surface of Mars while still maintaining continuous communication
between the two planets.
 However, due to the much thinner atmosphere, a higher fraction of the solar energy reaches the surface as radiation.
Although microgravity is known to cause health problems such as muscle loss and bone demineralization, it is not known if Martian gravity would have a similar effect.
 During the journey the astronauts would be subject to radiation, which would require a means to protect them.
These robotic systems also have a reduced cost compared with early crewed operations, and have less political risk.
These dust storms would affect electricity production from solar panels for long periods, and interfere with communications with Earth.
 In 2016, a University of California, Santa Barbara scientist said they could further reduce travel time for a small robotic probe to Mars down to “as little as 72 hours”
with the use of a laser propelled sail (directed photonic propulsion) system instead of the fuel-based rocket propulsion system.
But the thin atmosphere would allow almost all of that energy to reach the
One key aspect of this would be water processing systems.
 Much remains to be learned about space radiation.
 Upon return to Earth, recovery from bone loss and atrophy is a long process and the effects of microgravity may never fully reverse.
This means solar panels can always operate at maximum efficiency on dust-free days.
While Mars’ day and general composition is similar to Earth, the planet is hostile to life.
Shortening the travel time below about six months requires higher delta-v and an increasing amount of fuel, and is difficult with chemical rockets.
Being made mainly of water, a human being would die in a matter of days without it.
 Building living quarters underground (possibly in Martian lava tubes) would significantly lower the colonists’ exposure to radiation.
Given its size and resources, this might eventually be a place to grow food and produce equipment to mine the asteroid belt.
As a result, Mars has seasons much like Earth, though on average they last nearly twice as long because the Martian year is about 1.88 Earth years.
The lifetimes of these systems would be years and even decades, and as recent developments in commercial spaceflight have shown, it may be that these systems will involve
private as well as government ownership.
 However, results from a 2006 study indicated that protons from cosmic radiation may cause twice as much serious damage to DNA as previously estimated, exposing astronauts
to greater risk of cancer and other diseases.
• Building: even if the base is constructed before arrival, it will need frequent adaptation according to the evolution of the settlement as well as inevitable replacement.
 Equipment that would be necessary would include “machines to produce fertilizer, methane and oxygen from Mars’ atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide and the planet’s
subsurface water ice” as well as construction materials to build transparent domes for initial agricultural areas.
 Assuming that life doesn’t exist on Mars, the soil is going to be very poor for growing plants, so manure and other fertilizers will be valued highly in any Martian civilization
until the planet changes enough chemically to support growing vegetation on its own.
 However, the day/night temperature variation is much lower during dust storms when very little light gets through to the surface even during the day, and instead warms
the middle atmosphere.
These would need to be designed to handle the harsh Martian environment and would either have to be serviceable while wearing an EVA suit or housed inside a human habitable
 Mars has a surface area that is 28.4% of Earth’s, which is only slightly less than the amount of dry land on Earth (which is 29.2% of Earth’s surface).
 Transportation Interplanetary spaceflight Rendezvous, an interplanetary stage and lander stage come together over Mars Mars (Viking 1, 1980) Mars requires less
energy per unit mass (delta V) to reach from Earth than any planet except Venus.
While generally colder than Earth, Mars can have Earth-like temperatures in some areas and at certain times.
This gives researchers the ability to better understand the physical state that astronauts going to Mars would arrive in.
Real-time communication, such as telephone conversations or Internet Relay Chat, between Earth and Mars would be highly impractical due to the long time lags involved.
The one-way communication delay due to the speed of light ranges from about 3 minutes at closest approach (approximated by perihelion of Mars minus aphelion of Earth) to 22
minutes at the largest possible superior conjunction (approximated by aphelion of Mars plus aphelion of Earth).
[needs update] Before any people are transported to Mars on the notional 2020s Mars transportation infrastructure envisioned by SpaceX, a number of robotic cargo missions
would be undertaken first in order to transport the requisite equipment, habitats and supplies.
However, landers and rovers have successfully explored the planetary surface and delivered information about conditions on the ground.
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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33671002@N00/8202034834/’]