Such fascimile ancient woodlands may ultimately teach us how to construct complex biological communities when we venture further afield. Bob Myhill, a geologist from the University of Bristol working on NASA's Mars InSight lander, confirmed that the method could provide the thick radiation shield needed on Mars with local materials. Reflect on Your Community Full Lesson (PDF, 1.6 Mb) - Lesson Only (PDF, 967 Kb) - Student Guide Only (PDF, 281 Kb) - Teacher Guide Only (PDF, 953 Kb) Students draft a plan of an ideal community to serve as a springboard to consider what it would take to live on Mars. The STI paper also mentions the possibility of developing a "rice paddy aquaculture" or "taking a plethora of insect species to Mars.". Can we turn the water into breathable oxygen so Mars could someday become a tourist destination? For example, botany research on our own planet has investigated how to set up copies of ancient woodlands. Our astronauts will also find time to relax. This is the foundation upon a mission must be built, where human lives are at risk with each flight. Mars is a hostile planet, and is currently unable to support human life. In recent years, measurements by rovers and satellites at Mars have indicated massive amounts of water in the form of ice beneath and within the regolith. By sending in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) equipment to regions of Mars with subsurface water ice deposits, we could extract the water that is key to producing other materials. That big, cold, lonely lump of rock spinning through the endless void 54.6 million kilometers away? As for the familiar sensory experiences that we would all miss if we had to leave Earth behind, perhaps augmented reality could help? In order for humans to live there, a few things would have to happen. the characteristics in which an alien would need to survive are open to debate. Places that demonstrate living with scarcity, such as refugee camps, might actually help us come up with ideas for power systems and waste disposal that could be used on another planet. For as long as humans have been on Earth, we’ve been looking up at Mars in the night sky. Mars’s atmospheric pressure is less than one percent of Earth’s. We’ve driven vehicles on its surface. In spaceflight missions, the primary personal attributes of a successful astronaut are emotional and psychological stability, supported by personal drive and motivation. We’ve got some awesome news for you. Instead of launching resources such as water and materials to build a habitat to Mars, it could potentially be much more cost effective to send automated robots to harvest resources from the Martian surface and atmosphere in preparation for the arrival of humans. We know this from those who have migrated to any new home in another place (either willingly or unwillingly). Living in space – and on Mars – is all about living efficiently. To survive on Mars, humans need the same things they need on Earth: water, a breathable atmosphere, and food. What does all this mean for living on Mars? We at MYKU are excited to discover what natural resources we will find on Mars, especially for stones. On paper, a future colonist's day on Mars sounds similar to the life we live on Earth — do a job for eight hours per day, after which they can go "home" to call family or watch television. And Mars is prime real-estate, compared to a lot of other bodies. Right now, you are standing on the edge of history. The point is, the resources we need are already there waiting for us. SiO2 could also be used to make "many important glass products, including fiberglass, an excellent material for constructing various types of structures.". That's why NASA is working on a Mars 2020 rover. By the way, this will be your home forever. This oxidized soil is not ideal for plant life, so Martian colonizers would need to grow their crops in a system of hydroponics, or else treat the soil to remove the iron oxides and increase fertility. Traveling to Mars is just the first leg of the journey — when Earth and Mars are closest to each other, the trip will take a mere 260 days. Luckily we know it would be possible to assemble Earth-type ecosystems from component species. NASA is also considering a plan to launch an orbiter to Mars in 2022 that would search for ice deposits near the surface of the Red Planet, helping scientists pick the ideal location for a Martian outpost. Figuring out how we could we be comfortable living on the red planet is a challenge but with increasing discussion about how to send people to Mars with the ultimate aim of colonising the planet, how to replace the sensation of the sunshine on your face or the grass beneath your feet is prescient one. Step 1: Reflect on your community: Lesson Document: Lesson Description: Prep Time: Lesson Time: Supporting Materials: 1. If this all sounds familiar that is because, yes, this is pretty much exactly how it all goes down in Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars. "I don't think it's a problem, but it is an unknown." But because the availability of these nutrients may vary depending on where astronauts land, the soil may need to be fertilized. What's more, we are on the cusp of developing the technology that would be required to extract resources on Mars with robotic systems so they would be immediately available to arriving astronauts. But Martian water is highly toxic to humans and will require a bit of processing before it will be safe to drink. This means that as much as possible should be renewable or recycled: energy, fuel, food and waste. This may help us survive emotionally in this brave new world. 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