You and I can’t live on Mars, and at the moment nobody else can either. However, in the future, if someone can solve some basic problems, then humans might visit and eventually live on Mars — but you and I will always be here on Earth, hearing about it on the radio or reading articles about it online.

The basic problems for humans living on Mars are many. Some of them include:

  • It takes 9 months to travel to Mars. That’s a long time to be without gravity. Without gravity, even with two hours of rigorous exercise a day, astronauts lose 1 to 2 percent bone mass per month.
  • You have to be on Mars for almost 2 years before the two planets get close enough to each other to make a return trip.
  • All your fuel will have been spent on the way to Mars. There needs to be a way to refuel the spaceship from resources coming from Mars, or the astronauts will die on Mars.
  • Mars has no organized magnetic field and an atmosphere so thin it’s almost a vacuum. As such, radiation from the Sun and the cosmos is so great it will cause cancer in humans. There has to be a way to shield the people there from that radiation.
  • The thin atmosphere is not only nearly a vacuum, what’s there is poisonous to humans. There’s no oxygen, something we need to survive.
  • The ground is full of salts and other chemicals poisonous to plants. Plants can’t grow in the stuff.
  • It’s cold on Mars. The average temperature is minus 80∘

F (minus 60 ∘

  • C).
  • Gravity is only about 38% of what it is on Earth. A 200 pound man would weigh only 72 pounds on Mars. That is not enough gravity to make up for the bone loss.
  • There is no water on Mars. There is no food. Everything would have to be brought from Earth or figure out a way to get it from Mars.

Solve those problems, and people might one day visit or even stay on Mars.

They’re not easy problems to solve, however. Some of the greatest geniuses and entrepreneurs of our time are working on solving these issues, but a lot of them require technologies that don’t yet exist, and that’s being worked on as well.