So NASA says they have discovered running water on mars. It’s great news if you’re planning a vacation there, although the first planned manned mission is in 2030. By then I will be a bit old for space travel. Maybe. But by then we may have discovered youth regenerating drugs.
All the same, the discovery of water on Mars won’t change most of our lives. Here are ten reasons why not.
- Time Off for Space Travel
Of the many benefits employers offer, time off, even paid time off, is just one of them. But since it takes between 150 and 300 days just to get there, by the time you spend any time at all on the red sands near what many believe were ancient seas, but are now dry, you’ll not only have exceeded your vacation time, but you’ve probably been replaced.
Thinking of moving to the red planet? There are issues with that as well.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Not only is the nightlife dead, filled with rovers and orbiters doing an odd circular dance, but the atmosphere is pretty thin. It it also not at all breathable, and although the fashion is starting to turn around, space suits are so blah even Jeff Bridges can’t find one stylish enough.
There is also very little oxygen, so you’ll need an alternate source. There’s no government, at least currently, so you can’t look to them for support.
- The Neighbors
So who is likely to move to Mars first? Well, probably a bunch of scientist types who might be pretty exciting, and might not. depending on your understanding of quantum physics and higher math concepts.
Photo Credit: spacebridges.com
If they are not scientists or astronauts, they will certainly have to be wealthy, which could have a huge impact on home values, making almost any neighborhood un-affordable.
Although solar panels are good for the environment and can even help your pocketbook on our planet, they might work even better on the surface of mars. However, due to the same thin atmosphere that will supercharge your power system, the radiation levels are higher than the doses you’ll get from x-rays of your entire body.
Again, the issue of space suit fashion, the challenge of laundry, and the fact that wear and tear could be fatal makes the intense radiation nearly a deal breaker for me.
The up side? If you want to microwave dinner, just set it outside for a few short minutes, and voila! Hot Pocket nuclear and ready to eat.
You think skin cancer is a concern here on planet earth? Wait until you’ve reached escape velocity and are laying on the beaches of mars in a mankini or bikini. Not only will you burn in seconds, but your risk of melanoma will go up exponentially.
Sunscreen really won’t do any good. The only thing that will prevent this hazard is that pesky, bulky, and ugly space suit. Unless you just stay indoors in your Mars hut all day long. But more on that in a few moments.
- Hot Flashes
While temperatures at mid-day may reach a comfortable 70 degrees, it won’t last long. Sunbathing may only be practical for a few moments a day, You could almost hope for hot flashes on this kind of planet, but without extensive climate change, that’s pretty unlikely.
- Cold Snaps
The average temperature on Mars is a chilly -80 degrees. and can drop as low as -195. Your body can’t really acclimate, and fur is out on the red planet, due largely to the spacesuit, radiation, and thin atmosphere already discussed.
You’ll probably only make it one winter without craving a move to a warmer location, like Alaska in December, or one of Earth’s poles.
- The Job Market
While initially there will be some jobs in construction, including specialists like plumbers, electricians, and airtight dome builders, pretty quickly the market will lean toward a much more educated, white collar market. You’ll probably need at least a master’s, maybe a doctorate, to follow many of the conversations.
Not to mention there is some debate about the method of payment. Mars doesn’t really have a currency yet. Which brings up another rather odd dilemma.
- Housing Costs
Not only will the wealthy neighbors drive up the cost of housing, but the need for near perfect construction presents a whole new cost obstacle.
Even if you live in some kind of domed city, there is likely to be some kind of Home Owners Association (HOA) charging you fees for some kind of maintenance and mars-scaping. It might not be prohibitive provided you have some way to make whatever ends up passing for money on the red planet.
Photo Credit: NOAA.com
Not to mention the insurance you will need against the almost constant Martian dust storms.
There’s sure to be a Trump-like power struggle for control of the Martian government. So unless you’re a politician yourself, things could be less than pleasant. Fortunately, I’ll probably be on Earth for the Martian Presidential debate 2036, but if you’re looking to Mars as your new home now that there is water available, best of luck.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
So while it is kinda cool that they found water on Mars, it’s not likely to have an immediate impact on any of our lives. We need more than just water to conquer another planet. But if you hang around long enough, and make the right amount of money, it might matter to you, and you might be able to make a home of this distant world.