This is the question. What’s going to happen when we have lots of people on Mars.
Why don’t we ask If humans ever colonize Mars…
There is a formidable place we could colonize right now which is uninhabited, cheaper and closer to reach: the bottom of the ocean. Why don’t we colonate that? Because there is no value and it would be useless to do so.
Although it is a popular belief that we might some day, somehow, colonize Mars, a God forbidden place, it is highly unlikely.
Humans may walk on it, for reasons that escape me, but I do not believe we will colonize it. Mars has no value for colonization. North America did – it was rich with foliage, water, beautiful landmarks, gold. People wanted to go there. At the time the ocean was as formidable a challenge to cross as space is to us.
Mars, on the other hand, has a poisonous atmosphere and you can’t put an atmosphere in place for a multitude of reasons: 1) gravity is too weak to hold an atmosphere and 2) there is no organized magnetic field to keep the sun from blowing away the atmosphere. That’s why Mars has almost no atmosphere, and what’s there would kill you because it’s poisonous to humans.
Mars is a long, long way away and a moving target. If you manage to get astronauts on it when it’s nearest the Earth, then it moves away and you can’t get the astronauts back for a long time. It’s not like going to the moon for a few days and coming back. It’s a one way trip.
That one way trip is a death trap. There is no shelter from UV light from the sun because there is essentially very little atmosphere. It gets to hundreds of degrees below zero at night. There is no suitable soil to grow anything, and anything you grow would have to be indoors.
If you could have people living there, it would be five or six people, and they would likely die, because both going and coming is frought with danger. NASA does not want any seeds or bacteria to go to Mars. They want it to stay in pristine condition so we can study it to see if at one time life might have evolved there before it died out due to the conditions on that planet. So those people would have to live in some kind of dome. It is not a place we are going to go live on. That, sadly, is science fiction’s hold on you.
Sending rovers and space probes is cheaper, more practical and much safer then sending people. My guess, that’s the way it’s going down. So it’s not a question of when …. it’s a question of why do people think we’re going to populate another planet when we can’t even keep this one from over population and human polution.
In the meantime, if you want to populate the bottom of the ocean, be my guest. People visit there, we send rovers there, but nobody colonates it.