We need to find a new home for our survival in the future. But it probably wouldn’t be an exoplanet. Most likely, it will be Mars.
Mars’s hostile environment
Mars is a very unfriendly place for life to evolve although it is our best choice to go interplanetary. First of all, it is the temperature of the coldest temperature recorded on Earth because its surface temperature is -62oC. Because of low atmospheric pressure, which is only 1% as dense as Earth, it has a lot of temperature fluctuations. It varies from 30oC in a summer afternoon to lower than -100oC and that’s enough to solidify ice if the pressure was 100 times higher.
Also, it has a low gravity, only about 38% that of Earth. That means a person weighing 100 kilograms will weigh 38 kilograms on Mars. This weakens the bones and muscles of a person and will cause damage if he or she goes back to Earth. It has no global magnetic field so the solar winds can threaten it easily. Simply, Mars isn’t an ideal place for humans when compared to other habitable exoplanets.
Despite these difficulties, Mars has a big pro — distance. It is only a few hundred million kilometres from us and it is almost zero when it comes to exoplanets light years away. It only takes us 7 to 8 months to get to Mars, while it can take a lot of centuries to go to another planet. Also, it is one of our neighbours so transporting materials will be easier.
Therefore, Mars is the top site of terraforming, although the technology now isn’t enough. But imagine from black-and-white television to HD smartphones…… We should be able to do that at best in the next century. We are releasing a lot of CO2, but at best, we can transfer it to Mars to create a greenhouse effect. Also, we need to have large amounts of oxygen and nitrogen to form an Earth-like atmosphere. But you need to copy it to 99 times the mass of the current Martian atmosphere. That’s hard and we need more advanced technology.
Then, we’ll start to transfer Earth’s soil to Mars. Once it has replaced the present Martian soil, we probably can start growing crops there. Then, an ecosystem will start and a lot of species of plants and animals would start thriving on Mars. And of course, the creatures that stayed on Earth would see a drop in climate change more shortly.
We are already sending robot habitats to go there and prepare for manned missions. There are a few landers, rovers and orbiters making new discoveries each day. And we are sending a rover to Mars, Perseverance. It will produce oxygen by CO2, test the first helicopter and carry the first spacesuit material. Each of these is essential for human colonization and prepare for human missions thoroughly.
Also, it will collect the first rock samples for potential return to Earth and search for evidence of microbial life. This is also important for answering the question: Are We Alone?
Every step we achieve of Mars explorations is a major step towards the colonization of Mars. If we really need to evacuate Earth, we need to thank the explorations of Mars.