Note — Aug 04, 2019

Humans Will Never Colonize Mars

Overview of all the many, many difficulties we would face trying to set up a permanent base on Mars. Radiation, low gravity, almost no atmosphere, super cold temperatures, bodies unable to adapt to all of the above, etc. Also includes perhaps the simplest way of framing this: we never even truly inhabited Antartica or our oceans, yet they would be way easier to colonize. How the hell can people believe will have success on a different planet so far away?

“[T]he notion that we’ll soon set up colonies inhabited by hundreds or thousands of people is pure nonsense, and an unmitigated denial of the tremendous challenges posed by such a prospect.” […]

It’s a dangerous delusion to think that space offers an escape from Earth’s problems. We’ve got to solve these problems here. Coping with climate change may seem daunting, but it’s a doddle compared to terraforming Mars. No place in our solar system offers an environment even as clement as the Antarctic or the top of Everest. There’s no ‘Planet B’ for ordinary risk-averse people. […]

On Earth, bones, muscles, the circulatory system, and other aspects of human physiology develop by working against gravity. It’s possible that the human body might adapt to the low-gravity situation on Mars, but we simply don’t know. […]

If humans can’t make it to Mars, it means we’re destined to be “a single-planet species.” What’s more, it suggests extraterrestrial civilizations might be in the same boat, and that the potential for “intelligent life to spread throughout the universe is very, very gloomy.”