The issues of pollution and global warming have a lot of people concerned about Earth. Will the planet even be inhabitable by the next century? What would humans do if sea levels continued to rise, animals kept going extinct and the air became more and more toxic? Many people, including scientists, point to the stars. NASA and other space agencies around the globe put a lot of time and effort into searching for Earth-like planets throughout the galaxy. They also work on technology that may one day be able to produce an artificial atmosphere so that an uninhabitable planet, like our close friend Mars, could become a new colony for humans. But what exactly would we need in order to move from Mother Earth and settle down on another planet?
It isn’t entirely unreasonable to think that humans could one day live on a different planet like Earth. In fact, scientists have already discovered a near clone of Earth far, far away. 8.2 quadrillion miles, to be exact, meaning it would take humans 26 million years to even reach it. The planet was named Kepler 452b, and it’s been confirmed that the planet has the same makeup as Earth, including an oxygen-rich atmosphere and a molten core. The main problem is that we would need light-speed travel to get there, and the scientific jury is still out on if that could ever be possible.
Many astronomers point to our red neighbor, Mars, which is actually quite dangerous as it is, considering it has no magnetosphere to protect from the sun’s radiation and no oxygen in its atmosphere. Some scientists believe Mars is hiding frozen, fresh water deep beneath its surface, but more excavation would be necessary. In fact, a lot of things would have to happen to make Mars livable, including: a new atmosphere or constant oxygen tanks/tents for humans, decontaminated soil rich with nutrients from Earth, suits made from radiation protection fabric and pressurized habitats with individual heating sources.
The desire for exploration propels mankind into space, but unfortunately so does the fear of extinction. Earth will not last forever, whether it is destroyed by its own inhabitants or by time itself. The search for inhabitable planets and new, life-sustaining technology may become necessary for the continuation of the human race.
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