Transforming Mars into a livable planet - is it possible?
Human beings have always been fascinated with the possibility of living beings existing in places outside the planet earth. For quite a long time, the planet Mars has been the subject of this fascination.
Giovanni Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer, identified the much-known Martian Canals, and as the term was mistranslated into English, many people started believing in the existence of life on Mars.
In the '60s and '70s of the last century, with the rapid advancement of technology and the space race between the USA and the Soviet Union, the possibility of an expedition on the planet in search of living beings as well as a utopia to make the planet habitable for human beings started getting stronger, and from the 1960s on, numerous spacecraft have been sent to the planet.
The recent Mars Rover 'Curiosity' sent by NASA concluded that the existence of any large living forms on the planet is unlikely and that it can, at best, host microscopic organisms. Hence, at this moment, all the interest in Mars has shifted to whether the planet can be suitable for human existence.
Mars has less atmospheric pressure when compared to earth, and apart from this, the configurations of the atmospheric components, which include carbon dioxide (96%), nitrogen (about 3%), and argon (2%), are radically different compared to earth. For human beings to exist on the planet, under current circumstances, is virtually impossible without wearing suits that have specifically been tailored for that purpose.
However, many people are optimistic about changing things for the better, with the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk being one of the most influential people in this regard who want to make the planet habitable, as the human population is exploding on our native planet.
He wants to 'terraform' Mars, which roughly means making Mars as similar as possible to earth, which might still sound impossible, but in scientific literature, it is not. Many scientists, starting with Carl Sagan, have wondered about its plausibility for quite some time.
SpaceX has an official program that aims to colonise the planet. And by the last half of this century, Elon Musk wants as many as 1 million people on the planet.
However, as of now, it looks quite unlikely, but the whole procedure is uncertain, and it is not possible to predict whether the project undertaken by Elon Musk will come to fruition.