Could man live on Mars?

Researcher presents concrete plans | This is what our life on Mars could look like

Berlin - Fascination Mars! This year alone, three space missions are on the way to the red planet. And one of the election promises made by US President Donald Trump to his compatriots is that a US flag will soon be flying on Mars. Now the nuclear physicist Dr. Florian Nebel presented a book about the "Colonization of Mars" *.

BILD says what the journey and life there could look like.

The spaceship

With the Starship designed by Space X, founded by Elon Musk, the journey to Mars could be a success. The spaceship consists of only two stages: the very powerful "Super Heavy" drive stage, which is supposed to bring the giant vehicle into space, and the actual Starship, which serves the astronauts as a spaceship. Just a few days ago, Space X successfully tested the Starship: It can take off and land again - an immense cost advantage.

A second variant is the Dragon capsule, which Space X is also building. A little dragon has just flown to the ISS with two US astronauts.

The trip

Mars is around 200 times as far from Earth as the moon. With today's technology, the journey there would take around 260 days. With a new drive based on a nuclear reactor, the time could be reduced to 39 days in the future, according to book author Nebel.

The most difficult part of the Mars trip would be the landing because the atmosphere of the red planet is very thin. It is nicknamed "seven minutes of terror" by experts. You not only need good brake engines and heat shields, but also highly complicated parachutes.

The settlement

Most of the Mars missions designed to date assume a stay of over 500 days. So Mars is not a short trip destination. Since the Martian atmosphere is not sufficient for us humans, a settlement with an artificial atmosphere would have to be created. Ideally in a rock massif, where the settlers would be protected from dangerous space radiation.

Advantage: There is enough water on the planet, but in the form of water ice. Therefore, the first astronauts would have to install a water catchment system.

Dr. Florian Nebel: "The obvious energy supply for a Mars settlement would be solar energy." The NASA rovers currently on Mars are also powered by solar power.

For the first colonization missions, the author believes there will only be space for two to four astronauts. They would have to be “die-hard survivors” with extensive training in equipment operation and repair, space travel and medicine.

The cost of a possible trip to Mars: from eleven billion dollars with two settlers.

When could it start?

Dr. Florian Nebel: “A colonization of Mars is already possible today with a manageable financial and technical risk. Nevertheless, in order to further reduce costs and technical risks, it is first recommended to build a lunar settlement. ”The moon could be a stopover on the way to Mars.

* "The colonization of Mars, departure into the future", Florian M. Nebel, Motorbuchverlag, 192 pages, 29.90 euros