Mars has often been touted as a planet B for humanity due to its size and proximity to Earth but how far away are we really from colonizing the red planet? It all depends on three key steps.
The first of these is finding a way to get to Mars safely. Although NASA will have the first spacecraft capable of making a crewed journey to Mars within the next decade (the Space Launch System), it may not be Martian-ready as it would need special radiation shielding to protect it from the cosmic rays it’ll be bombarded with on its journey.
There are a couple of ideas floating around for shielding astronauts from cosmic radiation but none so far have been properly tested on spacecraft. If humans do travel without this protection, they may increase their risk of getting cancer and may also damage their reproductive systems. Scary!
So how long would it take to develop this protection? Some estimate about 20 years.
What are the two other key steps to colonizing Mars? How far along are they in terms of development? What technology will we need to make Mars hospitable? We answer all these questions and more in our video.
To view the video, click here.