Can We Live on Mars?

News about outer space is always fascinating for us. There is always something new and something unexpected that comes up. Most importantly, space has infinite possibilities which is why there is no major idea as to what may come up next. With the ever-changing environment in our solar system, one question has stayed the same for a long time. Can we live on mars or not? There are different views to this question and we shall discuss all of them.

About Mars Planet

Mars is the fourth planet in our solar system right after Earth. While Mercury is the smallest planet in our Solar System, Mars comes second on this list as it has a mean radius of 3389.5 kilometers. Mars is commonly referred to as the “Red Planet”. See the picture below of Mars; you will see a reddish shape of the planet.

This is because the planet has an abundance of iron oxide on its surface which gives it a red look. The red look is quite a distinctive property of Mars among all the known planets of our Solar System. With a thin atmosphere, Mars is relatively similar to Earth in many ways.

The planet has a range of valleys, deserts, volcanoes, and polar ice caps just like Earth. In addition to that, the days and seasons of Mars are also comparable to Earth because both of them are circling the Earth in the same direction with some relative difference in their speeds. Phobos and Deimos are the two moons of mars but do not have an even shape and could be considered asteroids as well.

A spectacular image of Mars.

Can we Live on Mars?

First Theories

The first known facts related to Mars suggest that the atmosphere comprises mainly carbon dioxide instead of Oxygen which is one of the main reasons why humans cannot sustain life on the planet. In addition to that, the surface of the planet is too cold to sustain any human life. This is because the planet is 160 kilometers farther from the sun as compared to Earth.

With the gravity of Mars being only 38% of what it is on Earth, managing life would be very difficult and could be unrealistic in some cases as well. With a very thin atmosphere at Mars and the absence of an Ozone Layer like the Earth, there are high chances that the planet may not be inhabitable. There will be a high presence of UV rays that could be damaging to humans.

Galileo Galilei, a very famous astronomer.

Developing Habitat Prototypes

From the first known theories, it becomes very sure that living on Mars may not only be difficult but also impossible. However, NASA and SpaceX have other plans which include developing Habitat prototypes that would be used to sustain human life on these planets. Most importantly, thin atmosphere sealing would be necessary as humans cannot bear a high level of Radiation.

The idea isn’t that bad considering that the astronauts have been living in the International Space Station for multiple weeks at a time before returning back to Earth. However, this isn’t going to be an easy job since heavy equipment transportation to Mars and building up a sustainable habitat that is self-sustaining is very essential. Nonetheless, 6 companies are currently working on developing these habitat prototypes and expect delivery in 24 months.

Vegetation Growth

When Viking 1 traveled mars, it figured out that the soil had some inorganic materials and the solid had high chemical properties of Perchlorate making it impossible to grow any kind of fruits or vegetables at this place. However, scientists have two theories on this.

If there is high Perchlorate all over Mars, vegetation is going to be impossible. However, there is a major chance that this could be just on a particular part of Mars just like we have a few barren lands on Earth.

Some scientists believe that artificial leaves might be required so that necessary medicine and other compounds can be made.

Making it Feasible

There is a very long time before life on Mars can actually be made possible in the way that most of us believe. It may look easier in the movies but colonization of humans on an entirely different planet is going to take a long time.

The immediate goals of NASA include the fact that there is a need for humans to land on Mars and see whether life on Mars is possible or not. Learning to live on Mars is going to be essential and in the upcoming years, we could only see essential supplies being sent out to Mars.

In the long run, we would be needing a proper habitat and a place for farming because carrying things from Earth to Mars is not only going to be impractical but will also cost a lot of fuel to us. Therefore, it is essential to develop small hubs to make life at Mars a much more feasible idea.

NASA is actively pursuing the Mars mission.

Can we See Mars from Earth?

The answer is Yes! And many people have already done that. At times there is no need for a telescope and it is easily seen from the naked eye too (only if it gets close to the Earth’s surface). In case you want to see the planet in better detail, you would require a high-performance telescope.

We have reviewed some of the best ones on this page – Top 5 Professional Telescopes for the Ultimate Astronomical Experience.

Mars was last apparent from the Earth with the naked eye on 6th October 2020 since it was closest to Earth before its distance was increased. Every two years or so, this event can reoccur. There might be some more times coming soon when you will be able to spot Mars although the planet might not be as close to Earth as it had been in 2020.

A professional telescope can be used to view different planets in outer space.

Expeditions on Mars

Mariner 4

Being the closest planet from Earth, there has been much research on Mars and many of the spacecraft have been sent to the planet which wereuncrewed. The first-ever expedition made on Mars was in 1964 by NASA when the Mariner 4 spacecraft visited Mars and took about 8 months to reach the planet.

Mariner 4 detected the radiation belt about 0.1% in comparison with Earth while the first known images were also captured by this spacecraft. In 1967, this mission was concluded and the contact with Mariner 4 was terminated.

Soviet Mars 3

With America progressing towards space, Russia was eager to launch its own spaceship. The Soviet Mars 3 mission was a bigger deal because it had the ability to land on the planet. However, despite a soft landing in 1971, the spacecraft lost contact with Earth just after 110 seconds of its landing. No clear images were sent at this time and only gray unclear images were extracted.

Viking 1

Viking 1 can be considered as the key milestone towards reaching and exploring mars as this was the spacecraft which successfully landed on Mars in 1975.  It was one of the record-breaking experiments as it stayed on Mars for more than 6 years. During this time, Viking 1 performed several experiments on the planet to search for whether there is life possible on the planet or not. However, no definitive answer was found out at that time. The mission ended in 1982

Further Missions

There have been several other missions after the success of Viking 1. Most importantly, Mars Rovers named Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004. Spirit worked up until 2010 while Opportunity worked up until 2018 making it the longest expedition to Mars.

Mars Rover Vehicle traveling on Mars.

Sending Humans to Mars – SOON

Elon Musk, the guy behind SpaceX, has high plans to send humans to Mars hopes that more than a million people will be inhabiting the planet in the year 2060.  Musk has plans that in 2026, the first human being will be sent to Mars with the collaboration of SpaceX and NASA.

This surely tells us one thing that life on mars may somewhat be possible. However, a definitive experiment such as the one being done by SpaceX will clear out all the doubts and present the real picture. With the high confidence of Musk, one can say that surely the big brain is up to something and not saying this just as random ideas.


Living on Mars is feasible or not? Time will tell. Based on the current information that we have, we can say that living on Mars with a particularly designed habitat, will be possible but without any such habitat, there won’t be any chances of survival. We hope humans travel to Mars soon enough to find out a lot of information that may be useful to send a lot of humans to Mars.

Going to Mars may seem interesting but did you know there is a certain chance that aliens are also in outer space? Read more about aliens here – The Existence of Alien Planets.

Our solar system is full of interesting and uncommon events that make us question everything. Read more on The Strangest and Rarest Celestial Events.