Terraforming Mars is a very difficult and time consuming process that will play out over time. The definition of terraforming is “the theoretical process of deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, surface topography, or ecology to be similar to the biosphere of Earth.” (wikipedia.com) In much simpler terms, it mean to make like Earth.
If I were to terraform Mars, I would use the 1000 year plan because it simply seems to be the most logical and reasonable. There would be fuel available for human use on Mars. An automated system to manufacture fuel on the surface of Mars would be included in the initial payload. This would allow for a resupply of fuel in order for humans to return to Earth if need be. Food will be brought with the astronauts, but eventually, it will be grown in greenhouses on Mars. It may take a little while to get the process of agriculture going, but it will inevitably be done, and the astronauts will have food in order to thrive on the Martian surface.
Water, or H²O, is also present on Mars. The Martian soil is 2% water, so we would be able to heat up buckets of soil and extract the water. This can also be used to feed the plants we grow in the greenhouses. CO2 is already present in order for plants to survive, so that should not be a problem. With this present, plants will exhale breathable O2 for settlers.
Many people wonder how humans would get to Mars. I say that they would do it by using a nuclear thermal rocket. This rocket would use a nuclear reactor to superheat a gas and blast it out at the nozzle to generate thrust. This would be a nuclear system for sure, not radioactive. The appearance would be very traditional; looking a lot like the rockets we see and recognize every day.
When humans go to Mars they will experience both physical and mental challenges that they will have to overcome. Muscle atrophy is a key physical challenge they will have to worry about. In order to overcome this on such a long trip the astronauts would have to exercise up to two hours a day. After returning to Earth, they will have an extensive training program to re-strengthen their muscles. This will help restore them back to the way they were before they left for their Mars expedition.
The crew envisioned for this trip seems very simple yet sophisticated. A six man crew is ideal for this trip and will require certain sets of skills needed. They will need a commander, scientist, engineer, medical officer, and a cross-trainer. The commander will obviously be in charge, the scientist will record data and make observations, the engineer will fix/build things, the medical officer will make health observations and take care of the others, and the cross-trainer will keep the crew in shape so they do not suffer from muscle atrophy.
There are many mental concerns that come along with this trip to Mars. Food is a big one because we do not need an ill minded crew. We need them in top condition in order to execute this mission to...