• Question: do you think people will survive on mars

    Asked by push351car to Dave on 17 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Dave Underhill

      Dave Underhill answered on 17 Jun 2019:

      I hope so, if not the sci-fi I watched as a child lied to me 😂 I think we will, there are lots of scientists working on how to survive on Mars, with one company determined to establish a base by 2025! Indeed NASA are committed to sending astronauts to Mars in the 2030s. The real problem is getting there – mars is on average 35 million miles away and to get there means sending a craft into an ever increasing orbit around earth (flying direct would need so much fuel that the craft would be to heavy). But it gets more complicated, you have to work out exactly where mars will be at exactly the time when the craft would cross its orbit! Presently it takes about 8 months to get there and then you need to think about the return trip and the timing of earth and Mars’s orbits means that any mission will last either a couple of weeks or over a year! NASA certainly have no plans for a permanent base at the minute, they need to get people there and back safely first. But yes I think it will happen. May be easier to colonise the moon first, then we wouldn’t need so much fuel as you wouldn’t need to get out of earth’s gravity (you need to be travelling at 25,000 miles per hour to escape earth and then travel at atleast 17,500 miles per hour to remain in orbit – this alone takes over 700 tones of fuel – and that’s before you think about the weight of all the equipment that would need to be taken!!)