Recent natural events might make you think that the earth is trying to tell us something – earthquakes felt in New York City, hurricanes in the northeast and repeated tsunamis and typhoons in Japan to name just a few. Perhaps the planet wants us to move off! But, where would we go?
Many scientists have been looking at Mars as a possibility. Though the mere thought of moving to Mars is a good lifetime or two away, we’re starting the research now. And recently, scientists have discovered some really promising stuff – mostly on our own planet, though.
Recently, the oldest fossils on earth were found in Australia. These fossils are about 3.4 billion years old and lend evidence that bacteria were able to thrive in an environment without oxygen. Evidence shows that this early life actually didn’t need oxygen but used other gases such as sulphur. This means that life could also exist on Mars – since its environment has very little oxygen and a high amount of sulphur.
But, what does this have to do with people moving to Mars and living there? Well, if scientists find that the planet can support life, even if that life is very different from that which we already know, there is a chance we can manipulate the environment to be suitable to support us. Understanding how life starts out in a given environment might also help scientists understand how to build a colony for humans.
Of course, living on Mars probably won’t be anything like that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, “Total Recall,” but we may be finding out pretty soon. In fact, maybe you should get your spacesuit ready – the move to Mars could be right around the corner.