With the present speed of rockets (though it is still a marvel of human capability) future of deep space exploration is gloomy. However, NASA and other space agencies are working on different propulsion fuel including nuclear to increase the speed of rockers. Hopefully, sooner than later we will have rockers fast enough which can make the journey to mars shorter than three months.
In last 50 years of space exploration, we have not achieved anything amazing. Last big thing was when man landed on the moon. Since then we saw a dry period in space exploration. All space agencies are busy in sending satellites and rovers in outer space. Even though, human have made outstanding growth in technologies whether it is Robotics, aviation, AI, automation, generating clean energy and much more but same growth was not seen in deep space exploration. We are certainly capable of becoming multi planetary species. Solutions were available but Governments are reluctant!
Private companies bring new ray of hope in this regard. I am a huge fan of Elon Musk, a man behind companies like Space X and Tesla. He actually makes us feel that we already usher in 21st century. Anything is possible; we just need to dream big. The recent launch of falcon heavy with two boosters landing back simultaneously is just outstanding achievement. Such success can’t be confined to a city or nation. It is a global achievement. Though I have not contributed anything in this success but I feel equally proud about success of technology built by human. It took human nearer to the mission Mars.
There are so many enthusiastic people who are willing to go to Mars even when they know that Mars is not hospitable for life. But space agencies are busy in testing their robots and collecting more data. There was a time when people had only small boats, no navigation system, and no communication system back to the land but still people used to take risk and sailed to unknown lands without having slightest information about what kind of animal’s lives in ocean and what they might find on another land mass. Many died in such expedition, but some survived and came back successfully. They didn’t wait for right technology or full information. Their curiosity drove them far and wide. We must learn from them and be ready to take calculated risk.
Today we have technology. We have resources but we do not have will to take action. One reason might be that as we are getting more information about Mars, we find it more and more inhospitable for human being. We need more reason for sending human to mars than we previously though. It will not be a honeymoon journey. With present speed of Rockets, it took 6 to 8 month to reach Mars. On mars, you will not find anything to eat or drink, no oxygen to inhale and you will be surrounded by harmful radiation. If that is not enough, Mars gravity is much less than earth. Which is not a good news for human well-being if they stay for long time!
There are many more mind-blowing life and threatening facts about red planet. Temperature: minus 60 degrees Celsius which can still go down to minus 100 degrees Celsius. A summer day on Mars may get up to 20 degrees C near the equator, but at night the temperature can again drop to about minus 73 C. Mars also has big dust storm.
So, even if we will make homes on mars, still life will be difficult and whole day we have to remain inside a small room and in night we have to wear space suit to go out because mars atmospheric pressure is 0.6% compared to earth atmospheric pressure. Choice of food will be limited and water and air will be re-cycling again and again.
Disadvantages are far more than advantages to live on Mars. If we had a planet or moon with at least water on it or at least atmosphere with oxygen, then it would be worthwhile to haste. With all life threatening conditions and nine month-long journey time, the only viable thing to make on mars is space station for maintenance of rockets and rovers, research facilities, cheap energy producing plants and re-filling of rockets. All this can be achieved by sending robots rather than humans. Only few human will suffice to control operations. Populating Mars is a distant dream which can only be realise by Terra forming Mars. For present time, robots are better solution.