Unlike our lovely Earth, Mars won't shield us from blasts of cosmic radiation.

If we hope to live there, we'll need to equip our future colonies with underground tunnels, Robert Zubrin, founder of the Mars Society, tells Tech Insider. Like Earth's magnetic field, the tunnels will shield colonists from rays. That way, we won't need to always suit up when we travel between habitats.

"Imagine living in a subway system," Zubrin says. 

While scientists disagree on the timeline, future space colonies will required technology that we don't yet have. "We need some breakthroughs that fundamentally change the game," Ariel Waldman, committee member of the National Academy of Sciences, tells Tech Insider. "Then, all the timelines will get erased and revised."

This is what it would take to live on Mars.

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