What is the future of colonizing Mars

The great race to Mars has long since begun

Settlement plans, building materials, police officers - heavily wealthy entrepreneurs and scientists are already preparing in detail for the future colonization of the red planet. But which technologies are used here? And how far have the developments come?

The great pioneer of all Mars expeditors is likely to be the NASA robot Curiosity. Nobody has looked around Mars for as long as he has.

Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / dpa

The colonization of the planet Mars is one of the greatest projects of mankind. The red planet is most similar to our earth of all known planets. Therefore, it is most likely to meet the necessary requirements for settlement. Many visionaries already dream of a future life on Mars, but before these ideas become a reality, some problems must be overcome.

Visions for Mars - settlements, building materials and police officers

Lots of people want to go to Mars. There are many well-known people and groups among them. The visionary Elon Musk, known as the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, already sees a city of millions on Mars - the transport of material is to begin as early as 2018. You can't start early enough either, after all, the flight to the red planet will take a while: If it comes to Musk, a capsule will cover the Earth-Mars route in around 80 days.

Scientists have also already begun to investigate how the city could be built: The German Aerospace Center has developed a stone made of dust and sunlight that could be used to build houses. Researchers from Harvard University, together with NASA, presented organic bricks made from bovine blood as a building material for Mars in Mau in 2017. The energy is to come from mini nuclear power plants, which NASA is currently testing in the Kilopower project.

Now the rich sheikhs of Abu Dhabi have also spoken out and announced that they are already developing robot police officers who will one day protect the future settlers on Mars. Today, all of these visions sound incredible, but they are actually being driven forward and have very different goals.

Elon Musk relies on recycled spaceships and 3D printers

Elon Musk wants to achieve great things with his own space company SpaceX. The billionaire founder of Tesla has launched many innovative projects and wants to initiate the colonization of Mars single-handedly. In his opinion, colonization is possible on Mars, because there is an atmosphere there on the one hand and sunlight on the other. Nasa researchers also claim to have discovered huge water reserves - thanks to the work done by the orbiter "Reconnaissance".

The 77.5 m high spaceship that flies people to Mars is supposed to return to Earth and then fly to Mars again.

Source: SpaceX

So the SpaceX boss wants to build large spaceships for the trip to Mars. They are supposed to transport 100 people and a large amount of material. They should be loaded in orbit and be reusable.

When it comes to the manufacture of buildings and vehicles, Musk relies on an alternative manufacturing technique. This is currently being developed at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT for short. Steven Keating, a mechanical engineering graduate, has developed a special 3D printer. It has a modern chassis with a chain drive and two large solar modules. The printer pulls a trailer with two tanks behind it, which contains the building material polyurethane foam. The printer operates using two robotic arms. The fast-curing foam creates structures layer by layer. In the distant future, the printer should be able to adapt the plans individually on site and design buildings independently.

The plans of the Sheikhs of Abu Dhabi

It could look something like this, the first police station on Mars.

Source: Abu Dhabi Police

The powerful sheikhs also rely on special 3D printers. These play a central role in the plans to colonize Mars. According to the sheikhs, the colonies on Mars are protected by intelligent robots. They use police cars and buildings made with the help of modern printers. According to the ideas, autonomous ambulances and hospitals can be manufactured and used on Mars in the future. In just a few years, the sheikhs want to produce the first police vehicle in a 3D printer. At the same time, the first talking robot should be active. In addition, the training of specialized police astronauts will begin in a few years.

Mars One project

The ambitious project was launched by Bas Lansdorp from the Netherlands. The visionary wants to found his own colony on Mars by 2027. For a first flight 4 crew members were wanted. They are supposed to spend the rest of their lives on Mars - without a return flight being planned. We portrayed the only German applicant who also lives in Germany in 2015.

The first Martians will live in inflatable housing units and grow their own food. More immigrants are to follow every two years and the colony is gradually enlarged.

Source: Mars One

A big problem with the Mars One project, however, is the financing, because the Bas Lansdorp Foundation has so far only been dependent on donations. More money is to follow later through television rights and advertising.

The extraterrestrial colony on Mars is said to be self-sufficient according to the visionary's plans. The settlers are supposed to extract the water and various minerals directly from the ground. Using inflatable greenhouses and solar energy, the colonists are supposed to grow grain and other plants. The dwelling also consists of thick chambers that are filled with air and protect the settlers from cosmic rays.

Timing is already very specific

SpaceX wants to send an unmanned ship to the red planet first. The first humans could then follow to Mars from 2025.
The billionaire sheikhs of Abu Dhabi also have a window of opportunity for their activities on Mars. The development of the first multilingual police robot from the 3D printer should be completed by 2022. Only then will the first police astronauts set their feet on the red planet. The United Arab Emirates intend to send the first officers to Mars between 2030 and 2040 and to open the first police station on the neighboring planet in 2057. Fully autonomous police officers are to protect the colonists who have arrived on the red planet by 2117 at the latest.
The ambitious mission of Bas Lansdorp requires high financial investments and years of planning, which the entrepreneur can only achieve with financially strong partners. Nevertheless, the first rocket should start in 2020. This is to put a satellite in orbit into operation and test various technologies under real conditions. According to the plan, a Land Rover and various goods deliveries will follow in the years 2022 to 2025. Ideally, when the settlers arrive on Mars in 2027, all things will be available to settle.

Current state of the art and possible solutions to problems

With the technologies available today, it takes a spaceship between six and ten months to travel to Mars. The gravitational pull of Mars is only 38 percent of the force of our earth. The strong gravity and difficult aerodynamic effects make landing a larger spacecraft using thrusters difficult. All of these difficulties require an answer in the near future.

Also on the question of the climate, which is currently still quite frosty. But Mars has hard-working masterminds for this too: Huge mirrors are to be built in orbit in order to direct additional sunlight onto the planet. This increases temperatures, melts the polar ice caps and creates water. Bacteria and microbes - and later also plants - should also remove the high nitrogen content and create an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

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