In the year 2024, SpaceX aims to send thefirst humans to Mars, 55 years after man first set foot on the moon. While the Apollo missions only involved shortstays on the moon, SpaceX aims to make Mars a permanent home for humans.
For the first group of astronauts headingto Mars, the journey is expected to take around 5 months, but what will they do when theyget there? In this article, we’re going to look at what needs to be achieved before we can send humans to Mars. We are also going to look at the initial structuresand systems that astronauts will set up in order to begin colonizing Mars. Before the first astronauts ever set footon the surface of Mars, they will need to have the essentials like water and power alreadyset up before they get there.
SpaceX plans to achieve this in 2022 by sendingtwo BFR’s on uncrewed missions, carrying important equipment such as: a large arrayof solar panels and a mining system. This mining system will be the basis of SpaceX’sautomated propellant plant, which they aim to expand with every new mission that headsto Mars. This propellant plant will process the largesupplies of CO2 and Water found on Mars by using the Sabatier process to make Oxygenand Methane, which will then be liquified and used as fuel to return the astronautsback to Earth. If this mission is successful in setting upthe foundations for a Mars colony, SpaceX will be oncourse for sending the first humansto Mars in 2024. This mission will consist of 2 cargo shipsand 2 crewed ships, carrying around 6 to 8 astronauts each. The astronauts could be staying on Mars anywherebetween a few months or a couple of years while they continue to set up the propellantplant. One of the most important things the astronautswill have to do when they arrive is set up a base. It’s unclear what the first Martian basewill look like, although many have suggested that it should have a similar design to theInternational Space Station, with compact pressurised modules, allowing room for expansion. Others have suggested that the initial baseon Mars should be built underground, to protect the astronauts from the intense radiationand extreme weather experienced on Mars. It’s possible that Elon Musk’s BoringCompany could be used to dig tunnels and create underground habitats for astronauts to liveon Mars.
Then there is the question of how astronautswill get their food. The first astronauts on Mars will take a 2year supply of vacuum sealed packets of food, which are light and compact, just like theones used on the ISS. The astronauts won’t be relying on Marsgrown food, however it’s likely that they will bring a greenhouse on their first mission to experiment with growing food and possibly supplementing their food with freshly grown produce.
In order to navigate the surface of Mars,the astronauts will also need a vehicle that can deal with the roughest of terrains. NASA have been developing the “Space Exploration Vehicle” for this exact purpose. This is a pressurized vehicle which can supportup to 4 astronauts for 72 hours. With multiple SEV’s on the surface of Mars,it would allow astronauts to travel more than 125 miles in any direction, a major leap forwardfrom the maximum 6 mile range that the lunar rover had on the moon. So as we get closer to seeing the first humansset foot on Mars, we can appreciate the enormous engineering challenges that need to be overcome before they get there. If you enjoyed this video and would like tocontribute to Primal Space, please visit Patreon.com/PrimalSpace, where we will be doing a giveaway of a Saturn V Lego set, once we reach 50 Patrons! So make sure you’re subscribed so you canjoin the discussion as we continue to learn more about all things space. Thank you very much for watching and I’llsee you in the next video.