Mars Might Be Closer Than We Thought

Nicholas DiBello and Trevor Smith

One big idea that is being thrown around the scientific community is a settlement on Mars. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Association) has taken steps as well as private companies such as the Mars One program. While NASA plans to travel to Mars in the 2030s, mainly for exploration purposes, the Mars One program aims to create a permanent human settlement on Mars. Many people find it hard to believe that someone would want to leave Earth forever to live on another planet; many see it as a great opportunity.

Researchers are taking many steps in order to prepare for various missions. The Mars One program, for example, states that no new technology will need to be developed for the journey. Everything that is needed has already been created. They also express the importance of solar panels and the abundance of many known resources found on Mars. Scientists are also using places on Earth to try to simulate some of the conditions on Mars. These areas such as Death Valley, California share many of the same geological features that Mars has. It is evident that the scientific community is taking big steps to make these missions possible.

There are a diverse range of thoughts towards the Mars missions. Some such as Shawn Smith consider the mission to be something that we as a society aren’t ready to tackle yet. In some ways this is a good argument, considering it will cost billions of dollars to just roll the dice. On the other hand, people like Mr. Poranski are not considering the money as much, and look at it from a more intellectual viewpoint. When talking with Shawn Smith, he declared “I think commercially rich thrill seekers would be interested which is still very slim.” He is considering the money viewpoint of this trip. On the other hand when, Mr. Poranski was asked about a permanent settlement on Mars, he replied, “I’m not sure that there can be one in perpetuity.” followed by, “I see it more of an experiment to see if we can travel and exist beyond our planet.” This here shows that the mission fascinates a certain group of people more than others. We asked Mr. Poranski what kind of impact he thought these kind of missions would have on the learning community, especially in his classroom. “Certainly from a science teaching perspective, it is a current event that captures the interest and attention of students as well as the general public. It remains to be seen what applications we can come up with in class that are reflective of that.” Shawn Smith again had a different view, and he took a political standpoint as well; “I think that Trump is a good man, and if the expedition goes well he will invest money and capital into the project. I think also someday he may want his son, Barron Trump, to be on one of the flights to Mars.” Both of the people we interviewed have been interested in the Mission, but the question seems to be how interested are they? Well, some are more interested than others and the people who are interested with huge sums of money are the people who we will need for the mission.

Shawn Smith says, “I think that if it’s successful, it will prove that humans can survive in different parts of the universe which means we will be able to expand the human race.” As a student from Ipswich High School, Anthony Marini says,“I think that it will further expand our research and knowledge of space science; also, I think it would be really cool to visit other planets.” Both think similarly on the topic, and both are in fact possibilities. Our sun expanding tells the obvious: That one day maybe not soon, but in some time period that we (meaning the human race) will have to evacuate our planet. Where will we go? Well, with research and exploration in place for Mars, we will be bound to migrate from our flamed engulfed planet to a less fiery one. So the exploration will affect the world greatly. We will expand our human race from our planet eventually, and the Mars expedition will help us figure out how to.

Although many people share many viewpoints, whether it be money, research, exploration, or settlement, the journey to Mars will have to hold up to these standards if researchers hope to carry out their missions.