Mars, the colonization of the planet. Description, goals, objectives of the project
Manned orbital astronautics - a kind of test for the country for the title of superpower. For humanity, such a test can be the development of the nearest space bodies of the Solar system. For example, the flight to Mars and the colonization of the planet.
Why does humanity need a megaproject
In recent years, the feasibility of space flights has been considered from a commercial and military defense position. The aggravation of the global economic crisis has minimized the number of scientific projects. Our nearest neighbors, the Moon and Mars, are still waiting for their researchers. The colonization of any of these cosmic bodies is very important for the formation of new long-term prospects for the existence of mankind. It became obvious that the development of astronautics in the framework of competition between the powers was not able to bring scientific and technical progress to a qualitatively new level.
The colonization of Mars is not a state or national project.This is a good motivational challenge for the entire terrestrial planetary civilization.
Well, if only because back in 1963 in the movie “Dream to Meet” the song, performed by V. Troshin, stated that apple trees would soon bloom on a neighboring planet. Now seriously.
The length of the day on Mars is approximately equal to that on Earth (24.6 hours). One turn around the Sun takes about 687 days. with a pronounced change of seasons. The climate on the planet is drier and colder. The temperature on the surface, taking into account seasonal and daily changes, lies in the range from -140˚С to + 20˚С (average value -50˚С). The thickness of the atmosphere at 110 km significantly reduces the effect of radioactive solar radiation. And although most of the air envelope is carbon dioxide (95%), there are basic elements that will be required for the livelihood of people.
If we consider the objects for expansion of the Moon and Mars, the colonization of the satellite of the Earth is not able to provide a steady evolution of the future civilization. A good example from history is the study of Greenland and the Americas in the era of the Great Geographic Hikes. The largest island is certainly closer to Europe and has been known for a long time, but an extremely poor environment precludes any development potential.
List of targets for the colonization of Mars
In addition to the noble task of uniting humanity and consolidating the efforts of all states to implement the settlement of the "red planet", the project will solve many problems of the present and future of our space cradle:
- Preservation of civilization and cultural heritage in the event of a global natural cataclysm on Earth.
- The functioning of the alien colonies will require bringing to a qualitatively new level not only industrial technologies, but also social ones. It will require the development and creation of fundamentally new public relations.
- The outer space base will be a good starting point for flying and exploring the far surroundings of the solar system.
- The colonization of Mars is one of the solutions to the demographic problems and a significant expansion of the resource base.
- The Red Planet is an excellent testing ground for new energy sources, the development of planetary engineering, climate management practices, etc.
Perhaps, from a commercial point of view, the colonization of Mars does not promise short-term profits. Space still harbors a lot of mysteries, disappointments and discoveries.
Where to begin
As it is not trivial sounds - with a detailed study of the planet.According to statistics, more than 2/3 of all launches of space probes to Mars ended in failure. To date, six interplanetary automatic stations are in Martian orbits, the surface of the planet is plied by two rovers, and this is clearly not enough. It is necessary to thoroughly study the atmosphere, landscape, resource supply of the planet, at least in the places of the proposed landing.
According to scientists, equatorial regions of Mars are considered the most promising for development, and proven water reserves (in the form of ice) are concentrated in high latitudes. If further research into the hydrosphere of the planet does not bring positive results, the provision of water resources to the first settlers may become a serious problem.
No problem - there are tasks
Experts say that with appropriate funding for the project, you can fly to Mars even tomorrow. Colonization involves the solution of several very important issues.
It is worth considering the options for the adaptation of immigrants to the gravity of the planet. It is significantly lower than the usual earthlings (38%). For a person, this threatens atrophy of muscle tissue and a decrease in the density of bone formations.Degenerative changes can lead to a serious illness, osteoporosis.
The atmosphere of the red planet is an order of magnitude thinner than the earth and there is practically no magnetic field. If you do not use protective equipment, a couple of days on Mars you can get the same dose of radiation as on Earth in a year.
Another difficulty is a great distance. Terrestrial technologies do not allow reaching the nearest outer planet in less than 250 days. Work on the creation of more efficient engines for such a flight are carried out in a private corporation SpaceX. The minimum time for the exchange of radio messages between the Earth and the Martian station is 6.2 minutes. (maximum - up to 45 min.).
These negative factors in the condemnation of the project are often used by public criticism. The colonization of Mars should start with the study of these issues.
Word and deed
There are a lot of options and projects for settling the Martian expanses. The founder and chief engineer of SpaceX (USA) - Ilon Musk, at the 67th Congress of the International Astronautical Federation (2016, Guadalajara, Mexico), shared plans for the development of Mars. In 2018, the mission of Red Dragon starts, which will send the first cargo and equipment to the planet.Project documentation for a ship capable of delivering up to 100 colonizers and 450 tons of baggage is ready. Resource ship - up to 15 flights to Mars. Colonization, according to the version of SpaceX, will take from 40 to 100 years, by the end of which the population of the alien base can reach a million people. Ilon Mask is convinced that the first people will step on the red planet no later than 2022.
About the serious intentions of his "offspring" assures the head of the private project Mars One Bas Lansdorp (the Netherlands). The basis of financing is the income from television broadcasts of the selection of volunteers, ground preparation, flight and landing on Mars (“Dom-2” on a space scale).
By 2015, out of more than 200 thousand people willing to say goodbye to Earth, 100 candidates were selected, among them 5 Russians. The result of further testing will be picking six groups of 4 people. For 2018, the launch of an interplanetary communications satellite is planned. Then, at intervals of two years, an automated rover and a life support cargo ship will be sent to Mars. Crews are scheduled to be sent at the same interval. The first will land on the red open spaces, according to the plans of the organizers, in 2025.
Many experts are critical of not only the technical component of the project, but also financial and organizational.
Domestic political figures and the scientific and technical elite are also convinced that colonization of Mars would serve as a good stimulus for the development of Russia. "Project State" - a portal of public initiatives to create a powerful world power, assigns this project a leading role in the work of the Far Eastern Space Center (Vostochny cosmodrome).
According to the founder and organizer of the resource, Yuri Krupnova, our country has lost its leadership in the exploration of outer space, being satisfied with the role of the “space driver”. In the United States and Europe, there is a rapid renewal of the rocket and space park. Own powerful launch vehicles will allow Western partners to leave Russia "overboard" of many international programs. It's a shame that neither Roscosmos nor the government has any strategic space research program.
P.S. Let's hope that Phobos Grunt 2 will safely carry out its mission, and not burn in the dense layers of the atmosphere (like its predecessor at No. 1) at the very beginning of the journey!