Mars and Beyond: The Feasibility of Living in the Solar System
Mars has occupied a distinctive place in the popular imagination for a century. Science fiction and the wishful thinking of Percival Lowell primed us to think of Mars as a living world, but the first landers and orbiters witnessed a frigid and arid desert landscape. Now the pendulum has swung back toward habitability, with evidence of the red planet’s warmer and wetter history and hints of sub-surface aquifers. A Mars base with short-term occupants would be a first step toward eventual colonization. NASA is planning to send astronauts to Mars, subject to its limited and uncertain budget. Meanwhile, the private sector has ambitious plans for establishing a foothold on Mars, with the Mars One plans viewed more skeptically by experts than the plans of SpaceX. Mars colonists would face challenges caused by isolation, radiation, reduced gravity, and an unforgiving external environment. Over time, they would diverge culturally, psychologically, and genetically from the inhabitants of Earth.
This article is adapted from material previously published in the book Beyond: Our Future in Space, by Chris Impey, in 2015, with permission from the publisher, W. W. Norton and Company.
- Aldrin, E. E. (2013). http://buzzaldrin.com/what-nasa-has-wrong-about-sending-humans-to-mars/.
- Bjornerud, M. (2005). Reading the rocks: The autobiography of the Earth. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. (2018). The Doomsday clock and its timeline can be seen online at http://thebulletin.org/timeline.
- Carr, M. H. (1996). Water on Mars. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Carrington, D. (2002). Magic number for space pioneers calculated. New Scientist. http://archive.is/Xa8I. A report on the work of John Moore.
- Catton, W. R. (2009). Bottleneck: Humanity’s impending impasse. Xlibris.Google Scholar
- Clarke, A. C. (1962). Tales of ten worlds. New York: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
- Clarke, A. C. (2001). Meeting of the minds: Buzz Aldrin visits Arthur C. Clarke. Reported by Andrew Chaikin on February 27, 2001, from https://www.space.com.
- David, L. (2013). Remote telepresence: A new tool for space exploration? Aerospace America 51(2), 38–44.Google Scholar
- Dawkins, R. (2004). “The Grasshopper’s tale”, The Ancestor’s tale: A Pilgrimage to the dawn of life. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- DeGiorgio, M., Jakobsson, M., & Rosenberg, N. A. (2009). Explaining worldwide patterns of human variation using a coalescent-based serial founder model of migration outward from Africa. In Proceedings of the National Academies of Science U.S.A. (Vol. 106, No. 38, pp. 16057–16062).Google Scholar
- Do, S. et al. (2014). An independent assessment of the technical feasibility of the Mars one mission plan. http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/90819.
- Dietrich, A., Ott, C., & Albu-Schaffer, A. (2013). Multi-objective compliance control of redundant manipulators: hierarchy, control, and stability. In Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Tokyo, Japan, (pp. 3043–3050).Google Scholar
- Finney, B. R., & Jones, E. M. (Eds.) (1985). Interstellar migration and the human experience, University of California Press, Berkeley, California.Google Scholar
- Globus, A. (1975). Space Settlement Basics, NASA Ames Research Center web pages of space colonization. http://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/Basics/wwwwh.html.
- Grunwald, M. (2008). Human haptic perception. Berlin: Birkhauser Verlag.Google Scholar
- Hawking, S. (2012). Quote from a transcript of a video interview for BigThink. http://bigthink.com/videos/abandon-earth-or-face-extinction.
- Knoll, A. H. (2004). Life on a young planet: The first three billion years of evolution on Earth. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Minsky, M. (1980). Telepresence, Omni Magazine. http://web.media.mit.edu/~minsky/papers/Telepresence.html.
- National Research Council. (2014). Pathways to exploration: Rationales and approaches for a U.S. program of human space exploration by the Committee on Human Spaceflight, National Research Council, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- Robinson, K. S. (1993). Red Mars. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
- Robinson, K. S. (1994). Green Mars. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
- Robinson, K. S. (1995). Blue Mars. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
- Saberhagen, F. (1997). Brother assassin. New York: Tor Books.Google Scholar
- Sagan, C. (1994). Pale blue dot: A vision of the human future in space (p. 371). New York: Random House.Google Scholar
- Snowden, E. (2014). TED talk. http://www.ted.com/talks/edward_snowden_here_s_how_we_take_back_the_internet.
- Tsiolkovsky, K. (1911). Quote from a letter, online in Russian at http://www.rf.com.ua/article/388.
- Wells, H. G. (1898). War of the Worlds. London: Bell. Chapter 1.Google Scholar
- Wills, A. (2013). Lansdorp quoted in “Is Mars For Sale?” for Mashable.com. http://mashable.com/2013/04/09/mars-land-ownership-colonization/.
- Zubrin, R. M., & McKay, C. P. (1993). Technological Requirements for Terraforming Mars. A Technical report for NASA’s Ames Research Center. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~mfogg/zubrin.htm.
- Zubrin, R. M., & Wagner, R. (1996). The case for Mars: The plan to settle the Red Planet and why we must. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
- Zubrin, R. M. (2008). How to live on Mars: A trust guidebook to surviving and thriving on the Red planet. New York: Three Rivers Press.Google Scholar
- Zubrin, R. M. (2011). National Public Radio Science Friday interview. http://www.npr.org/2011/07/01/137555244/is-settling-mars-inevitable-or-an-impossibility.
- Zubrin, R. M. (2013). Mars direct, space exploration, and the Red planet. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar