Does life exist on Mars? More about SpaceX Mars mission

Life on Mars

You must have seen movies like Martian and a few web series about the existence of life on the Red planet. You must’ve felt curious about life on other planets while watching that flix, isn’t it? And this move from SpaceX has been keeping me on my toes and I couldn’t resist writing this!

Our journey to Mars has started since 1964, but the first successful spacecraft was sent to Mars in December 1971. However, it became a failure within seconds after it was landed. The next attempt was on July 4th, 1997 where the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft was successfully landed on Mars and the very first picture was sent along with its rover ‘Sojourner’. From then there are continuous efforts made by our Scientists to identify the life on Mars. he latest spacecraft was sent into Mars orbit by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on September 24, 2014, which was a successful journey and it has brought India to the table of international space exploration. India is the fourth country in the world to undertake a successful Mars mission after the US, Russia & Europe.

From all the researches conducted by scientists across the world they have come to a conclusion and guess what? There was the existence of LIFE on the RED planet in the past and it’s still possible for human beings to live under few circumstances!!!

Spacecrafts

Quick facts about Mars: 

  • Distance between Earth & Mars is estimated to be 230 – 401 million KM, as it mainly depends on the year and position of planets on the orbitary circle around the sun.
  • It takes around 6-12 months to reach Mars from Earth. However, it’s purely dependent on the spacecraft type and the orbital year.
  • There aren’t any of our human traces on Mars as of now. It’s only the rovers that were sent and are used to capture the pictures to analyze it’s weather conditions
  • Mars is smaller than earth and it is said that if we shrunk down earth by eliminating the oceans then it’d be equivalent to the size of Mars.
Earth vs Mars
Showing the size of earth by combining only the land area which is of similar size to mars.
  • Water is indeed available on Mars, but it’s in a solid-state.
  • The air on Mars is not safe to breathe as 95% of it is filled with carbon dioxide. Here is the composition: Carbon dioxide: 95.32%, Nitrogen: 2.7 %, Argon: 1.6%, Oxygen: 0.13 %, Carbon monoxide: 0.08%.
  • When it comes to temperature, it’s very extreme and the average temperature is -60C, whereas the minimum is -146C, and the maximum would be around 20C.
  • Mars doesn’t have the Ozone layer with less magnetosphere which makes it harmful and the UV rays directly hit the surface of the planet making it dangerous to get exposed without a spacesuit.

What is SpaceX?

It is a privately funded American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company founded by Elon Musk in 2002. It builds spacecraft to transport the space essentials for the Telecommunication satellites in space. It is said that it’d cost around $65 million to build one spacecraft. In order to overcome the cost, they developed a unique technology wherein the spacecraft are reused – meaning they are sent into space and land back.

What’s SpaceX plan for the future?

Colony on Mars
Concept showcasing the colony on mars

Elon Musk’s dream is to establish a Martian colony of 1 million people in this decade. That being said, it is not as easy to travel to a planet, but due to non-favorable conditions over there the survival factors for us needs to be established

The plan here’s to set up a habitat on the planet before the human steps on it. In order for us to service without support from Earth, we need essentials like more purified air, food farms, self-power generation mechanism, resistance to cosmic rays.

To overcome all this, SpaceX is currently building its Starships (Falcon 9/Falcon spacecraft) which can carry Food/mining/building equipment, energy supplies which would help the humans for the initial days of landing. Let’s don’t forget the BFR ships which were expected to be sent in 2022 for preparing the base of the colony. and further starships later 2024 with the first set of humans around 6 are expected to be sent to perform the tests on the planet.

Life on Mars

As per the tweet from Elon, the goal of his Starship transportation system to Mars will be to launch each of SpaceX’s reusable Starship rockets about three times per day, on average, while carrying a 100-ton payload on each flight with roughly 1,000 flights per year carrying more than 100 tons of cargo on each flight. At that rate, Musk theorizes, each Starship rocket would make roughly 1,000 flights per year, launching a total of 100,000 tons of cargo into orbit. So, every 10 ships yield 1 megaton per year to orbit. And 1,000 Starships could send “maybe around 100k people per Earth-Mars orbital sync,” Musk added on Twitter.

Starship  at spaceX
The building of starships at SpaceX

Plans after landing:

As the land on Mars is mostly covered with rocks and uneven land covered with dust makes it difficult for the space crafts to land. Our scientists have been suggesting land at the poles as it contains a plain surface. An added advantage near the poles would be, the water availability (in frozen form), which can be used by converting them into liquid. You might have a question as to what we breathe: Scientists have plans to use the CO2 and collapse the Oxygen molecules.

Back in mid-2017, Musk said that the Starship architecture (which was then called the Interplanetary Transport System) could potentially allow a million-person city to rise on Mars within 50 to 100 years. He’s still working toward such an ambitious timeline 

Human life on Mars
A concept as to how a full-fledged colony look like on mars

If you have landed on Mars, then Interesting places to visit are:

If we are able to achieve this, then humans would be the first Multiplanterians in the solar system. If you get a chance to go on to Mars, then you must know the site and see places that will blow your mind.

Valles Marineris is a system of canyons that runs along the Martian surface east of the Tharsis region. These magnificent valleys stretch an area of 2500 miles long and 6 miles deep. There are estimates of  100-200 amazon rivers that fit into these valleys which cover the width of the United States.

Mars places

Olympus Mons is a volcano on Mars With a height of nearly 17 miles as measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter which makes it 3 times higher than Mt.Everest with a base expected to be more than the UK.

Mars Places

What’s happening?

SpaceX is currently building its first Starship orbital vehicle, called the SN1, at the company’s South Texas facilities. Musk tweeted a photo of technicians working on the SN1’s nose cone and liquid-oxygen header tank.

SpaceX representatives have said the first operational missions of the vehicle, which will likely loft communications satellites, and was expected to come as early as 2021 (which I now doubt due to the current pandemic situation). And there’s already one crewed mission on Starship’s manifest — a round-the-moon voyage booked by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, which is targeted for 2023. 

Journey to mars

Buckle up for the future, we might be one of the fortunate people to land on Mars if everything goes per the plan!

What are your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Does life exist on Mars? More about SpaceX Mars mission”

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