Asked by bloonan to Anna, Daniel, Denise, Jesse, Rehemat on 20 Jun 2014.
In theory, I think we are pretty close to do that, maybe 10 or 20 years..?
However, I think the big questions that remain are
1. water! other planets might have huge quantity of methane (like Mars) to take energy from, but without water I am not sure how we can survive there. I am not aware of any valid methodology to solve this issue,
2. do we really want to go there? we’ll be forced to live indoor (no atmosphere like ours on Mars), with very limited supply and no freedom whatsoever, we could just do what the people controlling our technology will allow us to do. do we really want this? It does not seem like a bright perspective, to me.
I think we are now still in time to change our behaviour and limit our damages here on Earth, making Earth a good planet to live in for everybody. I honestly think this should be the priority of science, not the colonization of other planets. What do you think?
Hi bloonan, good question! I come from a lunar petrology background so I am enormous supporter of going back to the Moon before we head further out into space. But that is not the priority for NASA unfortunately. They seem to have the mentality of “been there, done that.” Which is quite unfortunate. Like Anna said, water is very essential not just for humans to survive but also to power the shuttles and equipment that astronauts use in space. And it’s been proven that there is water on the Moon! The Moon could be an extrememly important natural laboratory for understanding human space flight and exploration of other planets, testing out gear and testing how humans react to being in deep space for long periods of time. Mars is a big goal, which NASA says can be accomplished in the 2020s or 2030s. However, the notion that they want to land on a moving asteriod is absolutely ridiculous. I’ve been in a lot of conferences full of lunar and planetary geologists where NASA officials are giving lectures on future missions and one thing is for certain: there are a lot of angry geologists once the lecture is over!
When will it occur is difficult to know as it will depend on our technology and resources to do it. We may also need a good reason to do it, such as depleting resources on Earth, over population on Earth, high desire to satisfy curiosity and explore. All of these things have happened in the Earth as humans explored different lands and continents. But leaving the planet and settling would be many times more difficult.
The new technology would have to take care of the long distances between planets (2 years just to get to Mars with current technology), water and air, food, different gravity, harmful solar radiation, etc. In addition we would have to deal with psychological issues such as isolation. Few people will feel happy away from others for such a long time. Some people have suggested geoengineering or changing the planet so that it looks more like Earth. This is right now speculation and if it ever happens it would be costly and would take a lot of time. So to me, I don’t see a permanent settlement in another planet for hundreds of years.
I won’t delve very deep into the question, as this was already done by the other scientists, though I believe that we could be able to settle on such planets in the future, depending on the advancement of our technology and resources.
Hope this helps! 🙂
I’m not entirely sure of an exact time frame, but there’s lots of things we have to take into account before going there, like the things that Anna, Jesse, Daniel and Denise have mentioned.
Whilst living on other planets is possible, some don’t have air and food and others won’t have water – this would make it very hard. Also, as life on earth has taken 4.6 billion years adapting to survive it might even take that long to adapt on another planet.
Thanks guys for answering my question. This really helped me expand my view on the entire concept of colonization.
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No problem! 🙂
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