The question on whether human beings can survive on any celestial body apart from earth forms the basis of an interesting and informative discussion. Dastagiri (2017) states that Stephen Hawking, a world-renowned physicist warns that humanity has to choose between eventual extinction and space colonization because the on-going climatic changes will eventually render earth incapable of supporting human life. In the almost 50 years since the last man landed on the moon in 1972, scientists have considered the possibility of colonizing a heavenly body, with special interest on planet Mars (Rand, 2017). However, critics have questioned why human beings cannot colonize the Moon instead of Mars. This paper aims to discuss the physical, geological, and atmospheric factors that make mars more likely to support human life as compared to the Moon.
Mars has been proven to have an abundance of water. According to Rand (2017), the idea that water exists in Mars came to the front during the 19th century when Pervical Lowell claimed that he had observed several canals constructed by intelligent creatures to carry water across Mars. Subsequent missions to Mars have reported no existence of life but confirmed the presence of plenty of water. On its part, the Moon has almost no water, meaning that it would be impossible for any form of life to survive there. On the contrary, an experiment carried out in the German Aerospace Center in 2012 showed that some cyanobacteria and lichen adapted to simulated Martian conditions by increasing their capacity for photosynthesis, and survived for 34 days because of the presence of water (Dastagiri, 2017).
Mars has been reported to have a significant number of resources for energy generation. According to Knappenberger (2015), studies have revealed that it is possible to generate geothermal and wind energy on the equatorial regions on Mars. The idea here is that the colonization of Mars would help towards environmental conservation on earth since human beings have more access to renewable sources of energy. Moreover, the increase in energy resources will lead to a significant drop in the cost of energy since people will be tapping into the geothermal and wind energy from Mars which is not expensive to generate and is more viable (Knappenberger, 2015).
The most significant challenge to the colonization of Mars is the fact that the planet has extremely low oxygen and temperature levels. According to Dastagiri (2017), the atmosphere in Mars has 0.1 percent oxygen and the average temperature is -63 degrees Celsius, implying that a human being can only live for a few minutes on the surface. However, Dastagiri (2017) proposes that the solution to the low oxygen and temperature levels is to transport more photosynthetic bacteria to Mars. These bacteria will convert the carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and increase the average temperature. The Moon’s atmospheric conditions are too thin to accommodate oxygen and heat, making it more inhabitable as compared to Mars.
In conclusion, the need to enhance the quality of life on earth and avoid extinction has led to the exploration of other celestial bodies such as Mars and the Moon to determine whether they their habitability. In this regard, studies have showed that Mars has an abundance of water and energy resources as compared to the Moon. Furthermore, the oxygen levels and temperatures on Mars are significantly low, but they can be scientifically manipulated to support human life. The implication is that it is more logical to colonize Mars as opposed to the Moon because the former has better physical, geological, and atmospheric conditions for human habitation.