After humans reached the moon, with Neil Armstrong becoming the first person to land, there has been another space race in queue. This new frontier is the reaching for the planet Mars. Lately, we have been fascinated by this planet than any other, and NASA too wants to send humans to the red planet by 2030 and SpaceX wants to get there even sooner with plans to have people there by 2024. It is because Mars is more Earth-like than any other planet in the solar system including the fact that it has natural beauty appearing like a grand canyon which measures nearly the entire width of the U.S and the Arizona. But, the composition of the Martian atmosphere differs greatly from Earth’s. Earth’s atmosphere is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1.0% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gasses. It also averages about 1% water vapor whereas Mars’ atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and it has traces of oxygen, carbon monoxide, water, methane, and other gasses, along with a lot of dust.
Back in 2007, scientists thought of four possible solutions to send astronauts to the surface, viz a Legged landing system, Sky-Crane Landing System, Airbag Landing system and Touchdown Sensing. Ten years later, NASA started to consider the type of habitation that we need to survive there. Six companies began designing possible habitat prototypes in 2016. It is believed that with abundant supply of food and medicine we can make it there, but reduced sunlight and thin atmosphere can cause difficulties.Moreover, some other obstacles include parking almost 10 tons of vehicle on the surface, wearing space suits all the time, getting used to dust storms and building an entire infrastructure. However, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors is of the opinion that a million humans could live on Mars by the 2060s. His timeline sounds ambitious and as per him after landing a few cargo carrying spacecraft without people on Mars, the human phase of colonization could begin.