The colonization of Mars is a hot topic for discussion, because this is no longer a dream, but a reality that should be realized in the near future. It is about the 2030s, when the first colonists can leave. But is it necessary to send people? Can you test everything on robots?
Way to madmen and dreamers!
Very often, history is written by those who are absolutely not going to follow the traditions and try on the generally accepted framework. Such a person can be called Ilona Mask. For whatever sphere he would undertake, he was always called a complex man or even a madman. This was especially clearly seen in his space company.
It seems that one day he just decided to build rockets and ... began to do it! Moreover, if many businessmen set themselves a goal - to make money, then Mask has millions to act only as a consequence of the main dream - to send people to Mars. And he gives weighty arguments:
- people must become an interplanetary view, since in the future the Earth will still be destroyed due to the transformation of the Sun into a red giant.
- Earth’s population is growing and in the near future there will not be enough resources for food and water. Here it is necessary either to introduce control over overpopulation, or to explore new space territories.
- sudden threat. At any time, an asteroid or a comet that has gone astray can go to our planet. Agree, it will not be superfluous to have the developed second world in reserve in order to save the human species.
- For the sake of translating the idea with an interplanetary view, Musk improves missiles, makes launch technology cheap and has already successfully launched the first space crew to the ISS. Then only the moon and mars.
However, many critics believe that a flight to Mars will be much more difficult than many imagine.
One way ticket?
On this side, there are also sound arguments in favor of the idea that on Mars you simply cannot make a colony. Separately, you can deal with problems, but there are too many of them!
Take at least conditions with a temperature of -60 ° C, a huge radiation flux from the side of solar and cosmic radiation. What about the lack of air, drinking water, protection from meteorites in the form of a dense atmosphere? Would you agree to arrive at a place where there is no infrastructure? The first colonists will find themselves in Spartan conditions, where they will have to learn to survive from scratch.
In addition, it can be a one way trip. People have been flying to the ISS for over 20 years, but scientists are still continuing to study the negative impact of space on the human body. At the same time there are no sensible methods of dealing with the reduction of muscle and bone mass. We only reduce the impact that on the Red Planet will increase significantly!
How to solve the problem?
Of course, there are no kamikazes among us and no one wants to send people to certain death. Ilon Mask himself understands this, therefore all projects include preliminary delivery of the first blocks for the colony to the Martian surface and the possible creation of a station in orbit around the Red Planet.
However, recently an idea to create a colonist robots. Here two advantages work. The risk of infestation of Martian conditions by microbes from human organisms disappears (we are still trying to find Martian life, which means that it cannot be contaminated with our samples). The risk of loss of life is reduced, because robots are the first to create a colony and convenient conditions for the arrival of people. And we will be able to conduct a deep exploration of the planet, because robots do not need rest (perhaps only recharging), water, food and protection from radiation.
But what will these robots be? If we take science fiction, then all cosmic exploration is accompanied by help from a developed intellect or creatures like obedient terminators (no uprisings, Mr. James Cameron!). Now the contribution of robots on Mars is limited to rovers.
Many believe that, ideally, it would be to have advanced machines capable of creating a colony from scratch, to investigate and draw conclusions about the terrain. This is a great option if the machines obey us. However, Ilon Musk in his program does not consider the inclusion of advanced robots, because he is an ardent opponent of artificial intelligence. He, like many famous scientists, is convinced that in the evolution of AI there comes a time when the machine ceases to obey, and will oppose the creator. And no three laws of robotics Isaac Asimov will save us!
So, it can be said that society was divided into three groups. Representatives of the first, including Ilona Mask, rely on human intelligence and do everything possible to ensure that the first living colonists not only survived the extreme Martian conditions, but also feel relatively comfortable. The latter do not believe in the success of the human mission and intend to invest in the development of robots and AI, which are much faster to implement interplanetary flights and resettlement in other worlds. And still others are 100% skeptics who don’t believe in the possibility of a flight to Mars or the Moon at all and demand to invest all their forces and means in the development of their own planet. Which category do you belong to?