60/US/ > Mars, Our New Habitat?

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Substance Matters!

Mars, Our New Habitat?

Washington DC Area April 30, 2023

Orbital Positions.

Mars is the 4th planet from the Sun and is currently considered a human-reachable planet to establish colonization.

Mars and Earth are the closest when Mars reaches its closest point to the Sun (perihelion) and Earth is at its farthest (aphelion). This would bring the two planets within 33.9 million miles (54.6 million kilometers) of each other, but this has not yet happened in recorded history according to NASA.

The closest recorded distance to Mars from Earth was recorded in August 2003 when the two were 34.8 million miles (56 million km) apart. According to NASA, the two will not be that close again until the year 2237.

Mars and Earth are farthest apart when they are both at aphelion and on opposite sides of the Sun. Here, they can be 250 million miles (401 million km) apart.

Earth Versus Mars Comparison.


It will be a long flight to Mars, the longest humans have ever made in a spaceship.

As Earth and Mars orbit the Sun at different speeds and distances, once about every 26 months, they are aligned in a way that allows the most energy-efficient trip to Mars according to NASA.

So it is important to find the right time window to launch to and from Mars.

Mars Flights Experience.

Before humans can approach landing on Mars, the spacecraft with its required fuel capacity and payload must be extremely secure to minimize risks.

With an operational safety rate of 99% for launch, flight, landing on Mars, relaunch, and return to Earth, this would mean that 1 in 100 flights could fail.

For comparison, the statistical airplane travel failure rate of 1 to 188.364 or 5,3 ppm.

In the beginning, a spacecraft under the assumed safety conditions of 99% would operate at a 10,000 ppm failure rate. This will be challenging to convince even the most obsessed pioneers to take such a high-risk flight.

Several unmanned pre-flights are needed before the first humans could be launched with a much higher safety rate. However, the first pre-flights could be used to supply Mars with materials and equipment to build the first habitats later.

1st Human Mission.

A one-way flight will probably take 6 – 9 months depending on the launch day of the actual distance from Earth to Mars. During that time, humans are exposed to cosmic radiation originating from the Sun and other stars and must be protected accordingly or in a secured shell.

It is known that weightlessness has effects on the human body, and astronauts have to undergo extensive daily exercises on long flights to minimize the effects of weightlessness. Long-term impacts may occur.

Initial 10 Crew Members (i10CM).

At this time, we are still in the experimental phase, but already have reached a higher learning experience and advanced safety standards.

It becomes crucial that the first i10CMs build the shielded habitats as fast as possible, to be protected from (1) the cosmic radiation, (2) the extreme temperature changes from day to night, and (3) the Mars winds.

Preferably this should be possible within 1 day of setting up the operational survival habitat being built from prefabricated system blocks easily matching together, like an Igloo-style habitat.

Food and other provisions are stored in containers in another Igloo habitat. This supply should last until the next scheduled return to Earth for these i10CMs.

In case of foreseeable long-term emergencies, more food and medical supply could be delivered from Earth with an unscheduled flight.

When fully operational, a scheduled flight program could be established to start with the first colonization. At this time, sufficient shielded habitats have already been built earlier to accommodate these transit humans from Earth.

The First 100 Colonization, (F100C).

It is considered that a spacecraft has the capability to carry 100 humans at a time.

Flights are now more standardized and could run on a fixed monthly schedule, or on optimized time slots for best flight efficiencies or with multiple launches at a time.

Flight Failures And Reuse.

We apply a best-case scenario and assume the spacecraft technology has reached a very high safety standard, which will be close to 99.9%, meaning that from 1,000 flights only 1 flight will fail, or 1,000 ppm which is still significantly more than the statistical failure rate of airplane travel.

Multiple reuses of parts appear to significantly reduce operating costs, but inspections and re-flight approvals could offset the calculated savings.

Scheduled Colonization.

In such scenarios, the annual colonization capacity of Mars could reach up to 1,200 humans, maybe in the beginning less.

It is projected that this could happen as early as of 2050 up to 2100.

(1) Potential Risks

(a) A 6- to 9-month outbound flight is not suitable for everyone because of the exposure to cosmic radiation and the exercise required to minimize the effects of weightlessness during flight.

During such long flights, medical emergencies could happen. What to do if no help can be provided? Die gracefully in transit and be buried on Mars?

(b) Living permanently in a small indoor habitat on Mars makes life very difficult for everyone and the community. Without fully protected gear, there is no way to be outside.

Mars has 1% of the Earth’s atmosphere and there is no magnetic field protection from cosmic radiation, meaning your body cells will be bombarded and becomes life-threatening very soon.

(c) The supply of food and medicine still depends on transportation from Earth before a self-sufficient food farm could be established that would grow some food and nutrients and have nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, water, and minerals. Mars does not have these basic requirements in the required amounts available to support a self-sufficient living solution.

(d) Building sustainable and shielded food farms with all the required infrastructure needed for a larger Mars population will take a non-definable time and is out of sight at this point.

(e) Who would be the last to leave the Earth? How do we do it, by a lottery ticket, call list, or voting ballots?

(2) Potential Opportunities.

(a) Could new elements be found? Probably not, all known 92 stable elements that have originated from stars in the past are available on Earth.

However abundant elements could be found. The useable future value is unknown at this point (exploration, preparation, usage on Mars or Earth, transportation).

(b) Water could be found frozen beneath the surface. This would indicate that life may have existed in the past when water was available in liquid form under different temperature and pressure conditions. A first indication of a possible water supply.

(c) Surface analytics could disclose more about Mars’s history.

(3) World Population.

a.) The world population will possibly reach 11 billion in 2050. What could be the Mars colonization rate?

b.) Starting in 2050, 100 people could be put on Mars every day, or 36,500 per year. That would be equivalent to 3.3 ppm of Earth’s annual population rate on Mars. Or it would take 301 years to put Earth’s population on Mars, in an area less than 1/3 the size of Earth.

c.) Mars has no oceans, and the useable surface area for colonization is similar to Earth’s surface area without oceans of 148 Km^2 [M] compared to Mars’s 145 Km^2 [M].

The population density on Mars would be 75.8 humans/Km^2 versus 74.3 humans/Km^2 on Earth. In theory, the Earth’s population would fit on Mars’s surface.

d.) Even with the goal of a shared multi-planet culture with a smaller population on Mars, all or most of the elements essential to life will still come from Earth unless they are available in sufficient quantities or can be produced.


a.) The idea that humans could reach Mars sounds exciting because there is a new port in the universe to discover. Technology could take us to this new destination. That would undoubtedly be a very impressive humanitarian achievement.

b.) Could we live there? Obviously not, because the known conditions are too harsh and not feasible for humans today and in the future, considering that a large population would have to survive there.

At best, Mars could become an extraordinary planetarium for extreme tourism or a stationary space research center for deeper geological or interstellar analyses.

c.) What is the key driving point for us to challenge ourselves with such a questionable Mars relocation destination?

Are we driven to satisfy our selfishness syndrome of “enough is not enough” or do we want to express it with our obsessive urge to discover?

d.)The risk and reward profile for human colonization is not value-adding, but rather a form of escape tourism to experience a new thrill or move with hype where there may even be no return.

Or could Mars become the largest graveyard for Earthlings who can take a last look at the paradise they came from and unfortunately helped destroy?

e.) Deliberately escaping from Earth without taking responsibility for it could be seen as a new lifestyle of modernized or AI-controlled vandals. We should apply an escape tax from Earth.

f.) Billionaires play with the big toys of their choice, but they cannot change physics or reality. The laws of physics determine the reality in the universe, and they have to abide by them as anyone else.

g.) We are better off taking care of our paradise by changing our selfish course that continues to recklessly exploit our resources and using renewable energy sources on a global scale instead.

As humans, we emerged from Earth’s history that began 4.5 billion years ago, or we would not exist. Stardust brought us the elements that makeup 92% of us and has proven over the last five hundred thousand years that our existence is designed to cooperate with nature.

We are optimized for life here on Earth, the only habitat yet discovered in the Milky Way. Undoubtedly, there could be other undiscovered life in the universe, but they could be light years away to come into contact with such life, if at all.

h.) To get an idea of the dimensions of the universe: 1 light year is 9.6 x 10^12 km or 5.8 x 10^12 miles. Light traveling at 300,000 km/s from such a distance to us would travel 1 year. In the universe, there are stars/planets that can be more than 100 billion light years away.

A spacecraft traveling at a speed of 39,897 km/h would need 27,849 years to cover the distance of 1 light year. Aliens are also considered humans, a greeting by a handshake is unlikely.

i.) During our time on Earth, we brutally discarded nature as our life-saving cooperative partner in this paradise, our fatal mistake as we know it today. We behaved and still behave like selfish children in the sandbox: “This belongs to me, I want to have it and I can do with it what I want”.

We must use common sense and respect Mars, with its own history and nature, as our closest neighboring planet in the universe. We can’t just come in as explorers and exploit the planet to our liking. History teaches us how that went in the past.

We are kids of Earth, not kids of Mars.

j.) Human dreams often surpass reality or get lost in illusionary clouds that then burst down to Earth facing reality.

k.) Nature has means of the climate impact of such unimaginable power we will never defeat. If we do not live a balanced and cooperative lifestyle on Earth, nature will destroy us on the spot, regardless of party affiliation and borders.

Planned future spacecraft flights to Mars could be blown away by Nature on the launch pad or return flights simply made impossible. Due to the power of Nature with its climate forces, Mars could become unreachable for humans.

l.) Nature does not negotiate, but responds to our behavior, a fair game for us to adapt. Evolution on Earth has shown that cooperation is the better survival strategy. It is called swarm intelligence, as used successfully, for example, by fish, birds, and ants.

m.) Nature sets the conditions, not us. We better listen to the sound of nature.

World leaders should put their heads together and implement a binding global action plan for renewable energy – an industrial revolution with the greatest opportunity in world history for sustainable living and prosperity, experiencing a new lifestyle that has never been seen before and that Mars cannot provide.

Mars as a new exploratory destination seems technologically feasible, however, as a human relocation destination, it remains the dream of a few taking a kamikaze approach.

The Choice Is Ours To Establish A Life In Harmony With Nature To Enjoy Our Shared Paradise In This Universe!”

There is no plan B.

Life Plus!

Awareness Thinking.

Peter Keuter is an independent writer, and his views are not affiliated with any company or political party.

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