Achievements in space exploration have opened the prospect for mankind to conquer the vast and mysterious universe..
Achievements in space exploration, sending… have opened up the prospect for mankind to conquer the vast and mysterious universe. However, knowing when to colonize other planets and settle people there remains a difficult question.
The prospect of colonizing Mars
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) CEO Elon Musk wants a city of one million people on Mars by 2050. This is an astronomically ambitious idea because so far humans have not have ever set foot on the surface of Mars.
But is it possible? How long will it take for humans to colonize another planet? And is it possible to conquer worlds beyond the solar system?
For Mars, several decades is not necessarily an unrealistic timeframe. Berkan Saydam, deputy director of the Australasian Space Engineering Research Center and professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, said human colonization of Mars could take place within decades. “I believe that by 2050 there will be a human colony on Mars”he told Live Science.
Theo Saydam, The most important problem in forming a colony on Mars is water. Water can be extracted from ice or hydrated minerals, facilitating agriculture and the ability to grow food crops. Meanwhile, hydrogen from ice and minerals can be used as a power source for rocket engines.
However, there is no scientific consensus on the colonization of Mars by 2050, and other researchers have issued less optimistic opinions.
Louis Friedman, a spaceflight engineer and co-founder of the nonprofit The Planetary Society, told Gizmodo in 2019 that: A colonization of Mars is unlikely in the near futurewhile Rachel Seidler, a neuroscientist at the University of Florida who has worked with NASA astronauts, commented on the colonization of Mars “a bit whimsical.”
However, it is no longer distant for humans to set foot on Mars, creating the conditions for a long-term settlement. China plans to send astronauts to the Red Planet by 2033, while NASA aims to do so in the late 2030s or early 2040s. Once humans reach that point, the next stage could be the construction of colonies.
Colonies are places where the inhabitants are capable of some degree of self-sufficiency, but cannot be completely independent of Earth. Saydam compares Mars to an isolated island where people sometimes still need to get essential goods.
Colonies on Mars need certain activities to be financially stable in the long term. Space tourism is an option, but Saydam points out: mining is the key to success in the colonization process.
When to go to the exoplanet?
Will humans settle on Mars in a few decades?
Will humans settle on Mars in a few decades?
Although Mars is our most realistic option in the alien colonization plan, this red neighbor is not necessarily the most suitable planet for humans.
Its atmosphere contains more than 95% carbon dioxide; it is very cold, the average temperature is around minus 60 degrees Celsius; the spacecraft from Earth takes about 8.5 months to approach; and still bombarded with harmful radiation.
There are certainly more “hospitable” places outside our solar system, called exoplanets. The problem is that they are so far away that we haven’t even sent a spacecraft to an exoplanet.
The probes that leave our solar system, Voyager 1 and 2, take 35 and 41 years respectively to enter interstellar space, and even longer to reach exoplanets.
“With our current technology, it would take tens of thousands of years to reach the nearest extrasolar planet.»Andredéric Marin, a black hole astrophysicist at the Strasbourg Observatory at the University of Strasbourg in France, told Live Science.
This enormous travel time makes the conquest of exoplanets impossible. Prof Marin, who does computer simulations for interstellar travel, hopes that time will be significantly reduced in the near future, thanks to faster spacecraft speeds.
“In space science, every hundred years the speed of propulsion vehicles increases tenfold.”, Mɑrin said. In other words, as humans gain the technology to move faster and faster through space with each passing century, the potential time it takes for exoplanets to appear could shrink by tens of thousands. years to thousands of years, even hundreds of years.
Marin laid out a hypothetical scenario that he would approach an exoplanet that could be friendly to humans within 500 years. A centuries-long journey requires a spacecraft piloted by generations of humans, and most of them will never see an exoplanet colonized by us.
Marin’s simulations show that around 500 people are an appropriate starting population for such a multi-generational ship. But how will people manage the rest of their lives on a spacecraft and how will their children live when they are born and grow up on the interstellar ship?
Additionally, climate change and other challenges on Earth threaten to push humanity into extinction before it can undertake interstellar travel. The colonization of exoplanets is therefore still only an idea.
Source of the article: GDDT
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Achievements in space exploration have opened up a new future for mankind to conquer the vast and mysterious universe. Achievements in space exploration opened…