Humans continue to tackle the technological obstacles of deep space missions, which involve Mars colony too. So, the idea of exploring and establishing colonies on extraterrestrial outposts is being seriously discussed by space agencies and private companies.

However, we need to consider whether we should pursue these endeavors solely because we have the capability to do so. Is venturing into this undoubtedly risky adventure justified when we assess it from economic, legal, and ethical perspectives?

Human Colorization on Mars Colony- A Pathway to Level up the Evolution Process

Mars possesses a significant advantage over the Moon in terms of its abundance and diversity of essential elements. While the Moon lacks many crucial metals and elements required by industrial society, Mars has a wide range of elements in abundance, making it more promising for potential resource extraction and utilization.

On Mars, various hydrologic and volcanic processes have occurred over its geologic history, leading to the consolidation of different elements into local concentrations of high-grade mineral ore. This geological history has drawn optimistic comparisons to Africa’s mineral wealth, suggesting that Mars may have substantial mineral resources. Which would help in developing Mars colony.

In contrast, the Moon has had limited to no history of water or volcanic activity. As a result, its composition primarily consists of rocks with little differentiation into valuable ores or concentrations of essential elements.

Considering the available resources and mineral wealth. Mars colony appears to be a more attractive candidate for potential future human colonization and resource utilization endeavors if we compare it to the Moon.

Now, we will see the robotic mining, and its significance in digging out important elements from Mars Colony.

What is Robotic Mining & How it Could Help in Mars Colony?

According to Professor Serkan Saydam from UNSW Sydney:

“The key to developing a colony on Mars within the next 30 years lies in robotic mining. This technology can extract water and fuel, making it essential for future colonization efforts.”

Professor Saydam believes that if autonomous mining processes become more commercially viable, humans could establish a colony on Mars by the year 2050. The recent successful landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars has sparked hope for this endeavor.

The primary focus of creating a colony on Mars revolves around finding and utilizing water. Robots will play a crucial role in extracting and processing water before humans set foot on the planet. Water is vital for life support, and it can also be separated into hydrogen, which serves as an energy source.

The proposed process for human colonization on Mars involves first setting up robotic operations to produce water and separate hydrogen. This way, the water and energy will be ready and available when human beings eventually arrive on the red planet.

Advancements in robotics and autonomous systems are crucial to ensure the availability of water and energy for future Mars colonization missions.

The Entrepreneur , Elon Musk, has recently made a claim regarding the colony of Mars. Let’s read in next paragraph what he is telling us!

Mars Will be the City of 1 Million by 2050: Elon Musk Claimed!

Entrepreneur Elon Musk has expressed confidence in the possibility of establishing a city of 1 million people on Mars by 2050. He plans to transport these individuals using 1000 Starships developed by his company, SpaceX, with up to three rocket launches per day.

While Professor Saydam believes achieving this specific goal within the given timeframe may be unrealistic, he acknowledges that the ambition to travel to and potentially Mars colony is what will drive the necessary technological advancements.

According to Professor Saydam:

“The technology and knowledge required for such missions are already available. However, the main challenge lies in maintaining focus and commitment to the project. To further the progress, he asks why similar technologies are not already utilized on Earth, where we still heavily rely on human labor in mining operations.”

One crucial aspect hindering the development is the lack of sufficient demand. Companies would only invest in Mars mission-related products if there is a market for the minerals or resources they can extract from Mars, which can be used for manufacturing and sold.

“At the moment, everything is just a cost and there is no revenue for companies.“

However, that could be starting to change. United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing who are heavily invested in the rockets used to launch spaceships, has publicly announced they will pay $500 per kilogram for fuel – derived from water – supplied on the moon. That rises to $3000 per kilogram if the fuel is available in a low-earth orbit.

Apart from this, now we will see the civilization of Mars, and the challenges it could lead in the next part of the blog!

Developing a Civilization on Mars:

When NASA plans crewed missions to Mars, they usually envision round trips with brief stopovers on the Red Planet. However, commercial space companies like SpaceX have more ambitious goals, aiming to establish civilizations on Mars.

For extended stays on Mars, the most practical approach involves utilizing resources already present on the planet, rather than relying solely on supplies from Earth. Researchers have identified five essential resources that would be required for Martian settlements in Mars colony: energy, water, oxygen, construction material, and food. Fortunately, the first four resources are potentially abundant on Mars.

Energy needs can be met with a combination of solar power and nuclear-fission reactors. Water can be sourced from ice and hydrated minerals found on Mars. Oxygen can be generated by converting carbon dioxide, which is also present in the Martian atmosphere. Additionally, the soil on Mars can be used to produce bricks for construction materials.

However, when it comes to food, there are no natural sources available on Mars, and it’s challenging to create it from the raw materials on the planet using simple chemical processes. The researchers emphasize that producing food locally on Mars will be the most difficult task, and importing all the required food from Earth won’t be sustainable for establishing a self-sufficient settlement.

Long-term stays on Mars require a strategy that relies on Martian resources for energy, water, oxygen, and construction material. However, the challenge of producing food locally remains a significant obstacle for establishing a self-sustaining colony on the Red Planet.

As we all know that Mars has lower gravity than Earth, so we will highlight the importance of “survival of the fittest” in next paragraph.

Does “Survival of the Fittest” Really Fits Best in Mars Colony?

The concept of “survival of the fittest” is essential in evolution, but on Mars, the environment may not solely determine the traits that make people well-suited for life there. One apparent factor that could lead to differences is height, as Mars has lower gravity than Earth.

Contrary to popular science fiction portrayals of tall and lanky Martians, the actual effect might be the opposite. The conditions on Mars could favor shorter people with denser bones to avoid hazards during childbirth, as weaker skeletons could lead to pelvic fractures during delivery.

Additionally, Mars’ high radiation levels could influence traits like skin color or eyesight over generations of evolution, as has happened on Earth. For example, to cope with the radiation, humans might develop new types of skin pigments or genes that make them more resistant to cancer, leading to potential “green men” in the future.

However, it’s crucial to remember that these ideas are speculative. There is still much we need to learn about how space living, including childbirth and infant survival and development, may impact human evolution on Mars. The process is complex and will require further research and understanding.

mars colony
An image of the surface of Mars taken by the Perseverance Rover in March 2021. Photo: NASA

What Could be the Possible Future Impacts on Mars Colony?

Mars presents a unique opportunity for potential colonization due to several factors. With a mean radius of about 0.53 times that of Earth and 0.38 times the surface gravity, it offers a surface area close to the total land area of our planet, making it a promising destination. These are really valuable information related to Mars colony.

Research conducted by rovers and low-frequency radar on the Mars Express spacecraft. They have suggested the possibility of finding underground and subglacial liquid water. Which would be beneficial for sustaining life and supporting future colonists.

Similar to Earth, we believe that Mars have substantial mineral resources beneath its surface. And it includes recently confirmed evidence of metal ores and other vital minerals. While no practical methods for extracting and refining these resources on Mars have been demonstrated yet. The potential to do so in the future is a significant factor in favor of colonization.

Despite immediate challenges such as a dusty, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere with a pressure of only 0.09 atm. These promising features have solidified Mars’ status as the ultimate space colonization destination for the near future.

mars colony
An artist’s impression of mining operations on Mars ahead of a potential colony of humans on the red planet.

How Being Extra-Terrestrial on Mars Effects Science?

The idea of going extra-terrestrial and colonizing Mars is gaining momentum with initiatives like the Mars One program.  Which has been operating since 2012 and seems likely to continue due to financial and public support. The successful launch of Falcon Heavy in 2018 demonstrated its capacity to deliver payloads to the Martian surface. Which aligns with the goals of Mars One.

To develop geodynamic scenarios and define relevant parameters for future Mars, efforts are ongoing. And it also include  terraforming such as Mars colony, as well as materials suitable for Mars-oriented applications and environments.

Many believe that from a technological standpoint, colonization of Mars within our lifetime is indeed possible. There is a substantial number of volunteers eager. That will take on the challenge of a one-way journey to the Red Planet. Thousands have applied to Mars One, and around 100 individuals have been preselected.

These developments and the enthusiastic response from potential volunteers indicate many things. Which also include that the concept of colonizing Mars is becoming a tangible reality, at least from a technical perspective. However, it is essential to continue research and planning to address the significant challenges involved in such a monumental endeavor.

River in Mars carried chunks of rocks from somewhere. It happened because NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover drilled this sample action. If you are interested in knowing more about the rocks, and how the river has drilled this action, then continue reading.

What discoveries did NASA’s Perseverance rover make with River in Mars?

On June 23 (the 832nd Martian day, or sol, of the mission), NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover sealed the tube containing its 20th rock core sample, and the mission’s science team is enthusiastic about its possibilities. The six-wheeled geologist is receiving some aid in its search for various rock samples that could be sent to Earth for further study.

This is because this sample was taken by the rover from a rock outcrop made of small fragments of other rocks that were transported here by a river in the distant past and became cemented together.
With each new rock fragment signifying a geologic tale to be told, conglomerates like this one—dubbed “Emerald Lake”, River in Mars, by the team—pack a lot of information about locations the rover may never reach.
“Pebbles and boulders found in a river are messengers from afar,” said Ken Farley, Perseverance project scientist from Caltech in Pasadena.

“And while the water that created the Martian riverbed that Perseverance is currently exploring evaporated billions of years ago, the story carried by those waters remains fresh, stored in conglomerate rock.”

If you are wondering what are perseverance rock samples that are collected for return to Earth and examined to uncover Mars’ history, then the following part is for you!

What can Perseverance’s ‘Otis Peak’ rock core samples reveal about Mars’ past?

These samples are persistently being gathered to be returned to Earth by the NASA-ESA (European Space Agency) Mars Sample Return campaign and examined by lab apparatus that is too huge and sophisticated to be sent to Mars.

Each stone and fragment in this core, known as “Otis Peak,” can be examined by scientists to learn information about its age, the river’s environmental conditions at the time the conglomerate formed, and whether or not it contains evidence of ancient microbial life.

River in Mars is Helping NASA’s Perseverance
NASA’s Perseverance captured this image June 13 of a sample it cored from a conglomerate rock called “Emerald Lake.” This “Otis Peak” core shows distinctly colored areas that are individual minerals transported by a river that once flowed into Jezero Crater.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Perseverance, now in its third science campaign, is investigating the top of a 130-foot-tall (40-meter) fan-shaped mound of sedimentary rock. The rover is moving toward “Snowdrift Peak,” a low peak, with this sample sealed and kept inside its belly. It will have to travel across a boulder field to get there.

Now, here arises a question in your mind what boulders likely transported by an ancient river on Mars are being considered? If yes, then keep hovering!

Can ancient river-borne boulders hold the key to Mars’ geological secrets?

Scientists think the boulders likely developed somewhere and were moved to their present location billions of years ago by an ancient river, just like the rock fragments in the Otis Peak sample.

Boulders are desirable because of their expansive surface areas, which enable researchers to visually examine a variety of possibly unique rocks in a single photograph. To be prepared to stop for anything that piques their interest, the team will be keeping their options open.

Farley said:

“Whether the boulders appear intriguing enough for closer examination and possible sampling remains to be seen – literally. 

We’re taking a page from the past. Prospectors looking for gold or diamonds in the old days often looked in rivers to determine whether there was any deposit of interest upstream. No need to hike up there to see – let the river do the work!”

If you want to know more about the Boulders that could be a Potential Window into Mars’ Geological History, then the next part of the blog is for you!

Is there a fast-flowing river in Mars?

The Perseverance rover, currently exploring the Jazero crater on Mars, has uncovered evidence of fast-flowing rivers and lakes in the planet’s past. This discovery is prompting scientists to reassess their understanding of the characteristics of ancient Martian watery environments.

Is there an underground lake on Mars?

According to research findings, Mars once possessed a global groundwater system, and several significant planetary features were shaped by the influence of this groundwater. When water ascended to the surface or approached it closely, diverse minerals were deposited, and sediments underwent a cementation process, binding them together to create distinct geological formations.

One of the largest subglacial lakes, comparable in size to Lake Ontario, is Lake Vostok, lying beneath over 2 miles (3 km) of ice. Remarkably, certain subglacial lakes host thriving microorganisms that appear to sustain themselves by consuming minerals present in crushed rock.

Where is water hidden on Mars?

Evidence of an extensive water deposit has been detected beneath the Valles Marineris Martian canyon system by the European Space Agency’s ExoMars orbiter. This canyon system, among the largest in the Solar System, surpassing the Grand Canyon in Arizona by about five times in depth and ten times in length, has provided valuable insights into the presence of water on Mars.

Why did the river in Mars dry up?

For a considerable time, scientists have hypothesized that the loss of carbon dioxide from Mars’ atmosphere played a role in maintaining its warmth and leading to its desiccation. Unlike Earth, Mars lacks tectonic plate movement to bury rocks over extended periods, which has preserved the ancient imprints of surface rivers undisturbed over time.

New research suggests that gullies on Mars evolved when the Red Planet was strongly tilted on its side, causing drastic temperature changes that drove water pouring down slopes to cut out ravines.

gullies found in the southern hemisphere of Mars
A set of gullies found in the southern hemisphere of Mars. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

Now, we will uncover some of the crisp knowledge about the formation of the gullies on the planet Mars, and answers some frequently asked question, too!

A Martian Puzzle: Gullies on Mars Resembling Earth’s Dry Valleys!

In the year 2000, scientists found the first gullies on Mars. These were very similar to the pathways formed on Earth in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica by melting glaciers. As a result, the Martian ravines suggested that water previously flowed on Mars and, maybe, still does at times.

A lead author James Dickson, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, told tells us;

“They look very Earth-like, but they’re on Mars, so how could they form there?”

“It’s been a great puzzle that many scientists have worked on.”

Now, if you are wondering about the gullies on Mars being found at higher levels where liquid water is not expected in the current Martian environment, then how is that possible? Let’s find out!

What are Some Water Absent Elevations and the Role of Carbon Dioxide Ice in Gullies on Mars?

The issue with gullies on Mars is that they are mainly found at elevations where liquid water is not predicted in the present Martian environment. The air on Mars is now too cold and thin for liquid water to persist very long, and it is much colder and thinner at higher altitudes than it is at lower elevations, exactly as it is on Earth.

Previous studies claimed that these gullies were produced by carbon dioxide ice that sublimated, or immediately turned into vapor, when Mars had warm spells, forcing rock and debris to slide down slopes. Due to the absence of this condition in natural Earthly phenomena, numerous aspects remain unexplored and shrouded in mystery.

Apart from this, now we will head hover towards a theory suggesting that the gullies on Mars may have evolved in the past when the planet’s environment allowed for tiny quantities of liquid water on its surface. Sound intriguing? YES! it is.

Scientists are Exploring Theories of Past Liquid Water and the Role of Axial Tilt on Mars

Another theory is that these gullies evolved in the past when Mars’ environment was more suited to the survival of tiny quantities of liquid water on the Martian surface. Meltwater from glaciers might have poured down slopes, chiseling out channels, explaining the height of the gullies.

To determine if liquid water could have existed on Mars, scientists looked at how the planet’s axial tilt, or obliquity, has altered through time and the implications of this slanting. The gap in the quantity of sunlight received by various parts of a planet during its year grows as the tilt of its pole rises regarding its orbit around the sun.

As scientists have discovered gullies on Mars, but what could be some potential outcomes or impacts of their formation? We will uncover this in the following part of the blog!

What Would be the Impact of the Formation of Gullies on Mars?

Seasons are caused by the Earth’s axial tilt of around 23.5 degrees. Mars’ obliquity is currently roughly 25 degrees, although it has changed between 15 and 35 degrees over hundreds of thousands of years, causing much more drastic fluctuations in temperature.

Gullies on Mars Formed by Deep Water Carved
The gullies seen here are one of numerous examples on Mars, showing water flowing in the ancient past. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

The researchers looked at how increasing obliquity on Mars would result in more drastic swings between winter and summer and possibly more conducive climes for liquid water. They created a 3D global climate model of Mars to investigate what would happen at 35 degrees obliquity.

The scientists discovered that sublimating carbon dioxide ice in Martian sites where gullies now exist would have greatly densified the Martian atmosphere. Furthermore, surface temperatures will likely exceed the melting threshold of aqueous ice. These events are estimated to have occurred regularly throughout the previous million years, most recently approximately 630,000 years ago.

Beneath we will describe what gullies behold, and how they will affect the surroundings.

Let’s Uncover Some Martian Gully Mysteries:

Furthermore, these gully areas today have a lot of water ice at the surface and most likely had a lot more in the previous million years. According to the researchers, most of this ice may have melted during times of significant axial tilt, carving out gullies in the high-altitude places where they are now visible.

Overall, the scientists suggest that the pattern of gullies found on Mars may be explained by a mix of melting ice, sublimating carbon dioxide, and extreme obliquity.

Dickson said:

“An important implication is that we can now predict that when Mars’ orbit tilts again, it should be able to generate meltwater at these gully locations”

Because life on Earth can be found almost wherever there is water, future studies may wish to focus on similar gullies on Mars to investigate if life once existed and may currently exist on the Red Planet.

Dickson said:

“If you were to look for extant life, these locations would be good targets”


What is the Muddy Puddle Found on Mars?

In 2000, a groundbreaking discovery provided the initial evidence of liquid water on Mars. Researchers asserted that the gullies visible on the planet’s surface could only have been shaped by the flow of water. The presence of debris and mud deposits served as compelling proof of the existence of moving water at some stage in the history of the enigmatic red planet.

How are Gullies Formed on Mars?

Instead of attributing gully formation on Mars to water, researchers suggest that the primary cause is the sublimation of seasonal carbon dioxide frost. Some have proposed a comparable explanation for the ongoing activity in gullies, which seems to occur when periods of active defrosting take place.

What are the small gullies on Mars?

At the smaller scale of Martian channels, gullies represent features that are generally around 10 meters (33 feet) wide and extend for a few hundred meters (yards) in length. Currently, multiple characteristics are grouped as “gullies,” but these features may have diverse origins.

During its most recent science campaign, the six-wheeled scientist came across the crater while looking for rock samples that could be transported back to Earth for further investigation.

The Mastcam-Z instrument on NASA’s Perseverance rover recently took 152 photos while exploring Belva Crater, a large impact crater within the much larger Jezero Crater. The data, stitched into a stunning mosaic, are not only eye-catching but also provide the rover’s science team with some significant insights into Jezero’s innards.

Where Is Perseverance Right Now?

“Mars rover missions usually end up exploring bedrock in small, flat exposures in the rover’s immediate workspace,” said Katie Stack Morgan, Perseverance’s deputy project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “Our science team was so excited to photograph and study Belva.” Impact craters can provide vast views and vertical incisions that offer vital insights to the origin of these rocks from a perspective and size we don’t usually see.”

On Earth, geology instructors frequently take their students to highway “roadcuts” – areas where construction crews have sliced vertically into the rock to create a way for highways – where they may see rock strata and other geological phenomena that are not apparent from the surface. Impact craters like Belva on Mars can operate as natural roadcuts.

Watermarks from the Past

Perseverance photographed the basin on April 22 (the 772nd Martian day, or sol) while parked slightly west of Belva Crater’s rim on a light-toned rocky outcrop known as “Echo Creek” by the mission’s science team. The 0.6-mile-wide (0.9-kilometer-wide) crater, formed by a meteorite impact ages ago, displays various locations of exposed bedrock and a section where sedimentary layers curve steeply downward.

These “dipping beds” could imply the presence of a massive Martian sandbar made of material that was deposited billions of years ago by a river channel flowing into the lake that previously occupied Jezero Crater.

The science team believes the big rocks in the foreground are either exposed bedrock from the meteorite impact or were brought into the crater by the river system. The scientists will continue to look for answers by comparing features detected in the bedrock near the rover to larger-scale rock layers observed in distant crater walls.

The mission also constructed an anaglyph, or 3D, version of the mosaic to aid in those efforts. “An anaglyph can help us visualize the geologic relationships between crater wall outcrops,” Stack explained. “However, it also provides an opportunity to simply enjoy an incredible view. “I’m transported to the western rim of Belva when I gaze at this mosaic through red-blue 3D glasses, and I wonder what future astronauts would say if they stood where Perseverance previously stood when it took this photo.”

More Information on the Mission

Astrobiology is a primary goal for Perseverance’s mission on Mars, particularly the collection of samples that may include evidence of ancient microbial life. The rover will analyze the planet’s geology and previous climate, paving the groundwork for future human exploration of Mars, and be the first mission to gather and cache Martian rock and regolith.

Subsequent NASA missions would deploy spacecraft to Mars in collaboration with ESA to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth investigation.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration strategy, which includes Artemis Moon missions to help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

JPL, which is overseen by Caltech for NASA, created and operates the Perseverance rover.