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A Colony on Mars

pole. There is also good evidence that there is liquid H20 water flowing
beneath the suffice of the planet. The known water at the South Pole alone
would be adequate to cover the entire planet with pure water to a depth of
approximately thirty six ft. So, at worst ample water would be a solvable
problem.
Habitat is a problem because the Martian atmosphere is ninety five
percent Carbon Dioxide, and only 3% nitrogen whereas the atmosphere of
Earth is 78% or so nitrogen, 21% oxygen and less than 1% Carbon Dioxide.
There is a solution to this problem. Recent photo's have shown that below the
surface of Mars there are many large fissures, cavern's if you will. One is
known to be at least three times as wide as the Grand Canyon, three times as
deep and nine times as long. This would not be a little cramped space it would
be about the size of the State of Rode Island. A breathable Earth like
atmosphere can be made with water and nitrates. There would be plenty of
water. Initially smaller more manageable caverns could be used while work
was being performed on larger caverns. Caverns could eventually be
interconnected. One estimate I recently read was that there were caverns
beneath the surface of Mars equal to the size of the Continental United States.
This would be a large habitat indeed.
Gardens could be grown underground using electric grow lights. There
are already new strains of plants being developed on Earth that are far more
efficient at photosynthesis, the process of converting Carbon Dioxide to oxygen.
If sufficient Nitrates are available to the plant from the soil then the plant will
consume Carbon Dioxide and produce a breathable atmosphere for man.
At present the mean temperature on the surface of the planet is fifty five
degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. The warmest temperature ever recorded on
Mars was eighty degrees above zero, Fahrenheit. Mars receives far less
sunshine than the Earth because it is further away from the sun. Twice a year
during the equinox the wind speeds on the planet surface reach two hundred
fifty to four hundred miles per hour. A man left unprotected on the surface
would be dead in under a minute.
Mars is only seventeen percent the size of the Earth. Mars, in many
ways is more comparable to Earth's moon than it is to Earth, except that the
minimum gravity that man can survive comfortably in is 33% and Mars gravity is
thirty five percent. Living in a pressurized cavern in an atmosphere rich in
oxygen, taking the proper vitamins, getting plenty of exercise and spending
some time in artificial gravity of one g, Earths gravity could go a long way in
making Mars more habitable. Mars has no ozone layer that protects the
surface from exposure to extreme radiation. The radiation on the surface of
Mars is deadly.
It has been said that all that is needed for survival is a reliable energy
source. On Mars there are probably no fossil fuels however the frequent
volcanoes indicate that geothermal energy would be plentiful. So much for heat
and electricity.
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