mars-surface

Mission to Mars

It’s time for another segment of future gazing.  It would be good to make a good cup of coffee, settle into your most comfortable chair, light a handmade premium cigar from Tabanero, and enter into a thoughtful discussion.  Even better come down to our store in Ybor and join the discussion. 

Today we’re talking ‘bout Mars. Specifically we are going to discuss the prospect of colonizing our neighboring planet.  Seems far fetched , right and by far-fetched like 2 million miles far. Even though a probe just landed on Mars, (link on the story here https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7296) currently it is still limited to the realm of science fiction.  

Some of the earliest science fiction novels imagined that Mars was inhabited by intellect life.  Edgar Rice Burroughs (the author of Tarzan) created a series of novels set on a Mars that functioned very much like Earth.  H.G. Wells also imagined intelligent civilizations on Mars in his novel, War of the Worlds. In Well’s novel the Martians were hostile invaders of Earth.  The major flaw in those early works was the premise that life existed on Mars.

More recent science fiction is grounded on a more realistic portrayal of Mars. Matt Damon stars in The Martian which highlighted not only the dangers, but also the isolation involved in colonizing Mars.   The National Geographic Channel just launched (pun intended) its second season of Mars (here’s a link to it here https://www.nationalgeographic.com/tv/mars ). It’s a show that is part science fiction and part documentary. They project that humanity will begin colonizing Mars less than twenty years from now.  That is pretty optimistic, but in line with the hopes of Space-X founder Elon Musk. He gave a talk (you can watch here link) in which he not explains why Mars makes sense, but also predicts colonization will happen in our lifetime.

But is life on Mars even possible?  The atmosphere is not breathable. The temperatures on average ranger from a normal high in the low 30’s to an average low in the -90’s.  Yes, the lows are way into negative numbers. You can’t just walk outside. Obviously, but imagine if that were true for living on the Earth.  Most of your life would be inside carefully control biodomes. If you did go outside, you would have to wear a suit- again obviously. You also have to consider the frequent and very violent dust storms.  The general consensus is that the polar ice caps are mostly water. Think what Earth would be like if the only water was located at the North and South Poles. It would be an incredible process to melt the water, separate it from the other chemicals, and then pipe it to ‘civilization.’  Then there is the issue of food. In the Matt Damon movie he had to create a special biodome to seal in the oxygen and ten he used human waste (yes that) as fertilizer.  

Well, we all get the picture.  It will be difficult, extremely difficult.

Will it be worth it?  Several centuries from now will our great, great – oh so great grandchildren take for granted that Mars is just part of daily life?

Who knows.  But at Tabanero’s we are dreamers.  Come down to the shop in Ybor, select one of our premium handmade cigars, light it up, get a cup of our wonderful Taba Brew coffee, sit down in our comfortable leather chairs, and join in a discussion about the future.  Maybe we will all play a part in this next chapter of humanities growth.

 

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