Mars or the Moon-sample paper

Mars or the Moon: what to colonize first?
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Mars or the Moon
There has been an unending debate on which celestial body man should first colonize
between Mars and the Earth’s moon. Neil Armstrong was the first man to safely land on the
moon and return back to Earth in 1969. This historic event set the tone for future explorations for
space explorations with the International Space Station playing a big role in aiding the cause.
The moon has appeared as a strategic option for setting a base for human colonization due to its
proximity to the Earth. Conversely, Mars stands out as an ideal candidate due to Earth-like
conditions. However, its distance from the Earth has weighed down its prospects. The presence
of an atmosphere, a practical length of day, and availability of water make Mars a viable option
to colonize as compared to the moon.
Mars, also known as the ‘red planet’ has a practical length of day, almost similar to the
Earth. The planet spins at a reasonable rate with the length of the day being slightly over 24
hours (Kral et al., 2016). As such, humans would easily adapt to the days on Mars. Additionally,
the planet experiences reasonable temperature differences between day and night making it
hospitable. Conversely, the moon exhibits characteristics that do not favor human colonization.
The celestial body has a day that is equivalent to 28 Earth days ((Sasaki & Barnes, 2014). It
would be almost impossible for humans to adjust their biological clocks to match that of the
moon. The difference between day and night on the moon is too dramatic with extreme hot and
cold temperatures leading to a 300-degrees variance (Sasaki & Barnes, 2014). As a result, human
beings can only move on the moon with help of bodysuits. Therefore, the length of the day on
Mars and favorable temperatures make it a viable option as compared to the moon.
Just like the Earth, Mars has its own atmosphere. The dominant gas is carbon dioxide
which can be harnessed by man to grow plants. However, the planet lacks oxygen for humans.
The atmosphere on the plant facilitates winds to blow and in the process helps to achieve
optimum temperature equilibrium between day and night. The presence of an atmosphere allows
human beings to build structures and pressurized domes for habitation (Kral et al., 2016). On the
other hand, the moon lacks an atmosphere, making it dangerous for human settlement as harmful
ultra-violet rays from the Sun can penetrate to the moon’s surface (Sasaki & Barnes, 2014). As
such, people would be forced to live in caves in order to avoid harmful radiation. The lack of an
atmosphere also means that the moon does not have the ability to regulate extreme temperature
changes between the day and night making it an undesirable destination for colonization.
Recent scientific research has revealed the presence of water on the subsurface of the
planet Mars (Kral et al., 2016). The presence of water would facilitate the growth of plants and
human consumption. There is also the possibility of using water to generate oxygen for
breathing. While the moon has also has water, most of it is found on the poles (Sasaki & Barnes,
2014). As such, people would be forced to live there, and the possibility of congestion makes it a
less likely candidate for colonization.
It is evident that human beings are more likely to colonize Mars first at the expense of the
moon. The red planet is an ideal candidate due to its favorable length of the day being almost
similar to that of the Earth. The planet also has an atmosphere which allows for temperature
equilibrium between the day and night making it hospitable. Finally, the plausibility of accessing
water throughout the planet means that people will have access to it regardless of where they
settle. These reasons encapsulate why Mars is a better candidate for human colonization as
compared to the moon.
Kral, T. A., Goodhart, T. H., Harpool, J. D., Hearnsberger, C. E., McCracken, G. L., &
McSpadden, S. W. (2016). Sensitivity and adaptability of methanogens to perchlorates:
Implications for life on Mars. Planetary and Space Science, 120, 87-95.
Sasaki, T., & Barnes, J. W. (2014). Longevity of moons around habitable planets. International
Journal of Astrobiology, 13(4), 324-336.

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