Sending humans to Mars is something that many are hopeful will happen in the next few decades, possibly by the 2040s, according to NASA. But what chance do we have of actually living on Mars permanently one day?
In the second episode of the "Further" series (the first one was on aliens), former astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman discusses the possibility of us one day colonizing Mars. “If humanity can, some day, establish a presence on more than one planet, we’ve really increased our chances of long term survival,” he says.
Early Martian explorers might face a unique psychological test in being so far from Earth, according to Hoffman. But perhaps they will have a unique goal – to turn Mars back into the habitable environment it was once thought to be, with a thick atmosphere and liquid water on the surface, via a process known as terraforming.
The video imagines a future Martian explorer using a large facility to heat the Martian core, giving it back the atmosphere we know was lost. Hoffman notes, though, that this is far beyond the realms of what is possible with current technologies.
“That’s beyond anything that we can imagine today,” he said. “But I never like to say never because… what our technologies will be like a thousand years in the future, I can’t even imagine.”
Check out the video below.