The Earth is Not Alone - Space Documentary HD

the earth is not alone in the last few years scientists have found that our planet is just one of billions out there in the Milky Way galaxy there's a really decent chance that there are more planets in the galaxy than there actually are stars we're now scouring these planets for evidence of atmospheres liquid water and life itself we are going to know where in the night sky you can point and find another earth we have a scientific method to actually determine whether there is life on another planet another earth alien life the truth is out there but are we ready for it the earth gives us the blueprint for life as we know it the Sun warms our oceans creating the perfect environment for all scales of life from the very smallest to the Giants that eat them Mountains planes and forests teen with plants and animal species and it's all cocooned in a thick atmosphere that nurtures and protects for us it's paradise 20 years ago a group of scientists decided to find out if there were other paradises out there so-called exoplanets orbiting the stars that light up our night sky just in the last decade we've had this explosion in the discovery of these exoplanets which has revolutionized the whole field of astronomy the early days of exoplanet hunting turned up enormous jupiter-sized planets by the boatload these hot gas each iins proved easy to find but hostile to life as we know it now though new telescopes and technologies have allowed astronomers to target smaller planets earth-sized ones and the stunning results have transformed the way we see our place in the universe we now know something precious that our planet Earth is not unique it's not even rare there are tons hoards flocks if you will of other earth-like planets out there fluttering around the other stars some stars probably have multiple earths orbiting them that's how common earth-like planets are we owe this exoplanet explosion to a Space Telescope called Kepler the Kepler space telescope is an observatory in space that is staring at one spot in the sky it's looking at roughly a hundred and fifty thousand stars and it's looking for the tell-tale sign of planets orbiting those stars then every time the planet passes in front of the star it'll block a little bit of that star light and if you plot the amount of light you get from the star it drops and then goes back up as the planet passes in just four years scientists have detected over a thousand exoplanets just from their shadows but Kepler has a problem it can't tell if the shadow is made by a giant gassy planet hostile to life or a potentially habitable earth-like planet what we're measuring when a when a planet passes in front of its host star is what is the area of the planet relative to the area of the star that it's passing in front of it's a it's a ratio basically but you put our size planets crossing giant stars full Kepler because they block the same fraction of light as earth sized planets crossing smaller stars to prove a planet is earth sized you first need to measure the size of its star using the world's biggest telescopes but that's time-consuming expensive and it creates a huge exoplanet backlog but astronomer Kavon Stassen has come up with an ingenious shortcut by turning the raw Kepler data into sound what the Kepler telescope directly measures and the data that we use is small changes in brightness that a star produces due to the flickering arising from the boiling and roiling motions of gas at its surface what we can do then is take that light flickering data and transform it in a sound studio for example into audio frequencies and so then we can represent with sound what we're actually detecting with light the bigger the star the more its surface boils with activity making big stars flicker more powerfully converted to sound this boiling becomes a deafening hiss well let's listen to some stars okay can we hear the red giant star please I'm gonna bring up the volume here this is a very large star very low density and so that large amount of hiss is the result of vigorous boiling and churning at the surface of this large red giant star can we get the dwarf star please on smaller stars sunspots dominate the sound profile creating a low-frequency drone actually sounds like a series of clicks but below clicks lies the faint hiss Kavon needs to size the star underneath it at a very low level is a little bit of hiss that little bit of is actually the light flickering that we're interested in by accurately measuring the level of this background hiss Kavon can work out the size of the star in this case it's around the same size as our star the Sun cave-ins work could be the breakthrough exoplanet hunters have been hoping for it's cheap the results are practically instantaneous and once you know the size of the star figuring out the size of the planets casting shadows over it is child's play it it feels like a very privileged time to be a scientist to be an astronomer working in this area and contributing to the hunt for the next earth here we are actually discovering these worlds by the hundreds and now on the cusp of being able to identify the next earth astronomers suspect there could be tens of billions of rocky earth-like planets in the Milky Way places where perhaps life has gotten a foothold but life as we know it requires water how can scientists possibly find this miracle substance on planets light-years away water divides our living world those with it prosper those routes suffer remarkably the water we drink today contains the same atoms as the water dinosaurs drank 100 million years ago it's the same water that formed clouds of the earlier 4 billion years ago and every organism that has ever existed on earth has used this single ration of water as the biochemical powerhouse that keeps it alive on earth all life requires liquid water to grow and reproduce it's the common ecological requirement for life liquid water is just so good for getting evolution going molecules can dissolve in the water actually interact with each other for more complex chains it does it with charge there's positive charges and negative charges separated between the hydrogen and the oxygen in h2o those charges break apart the hydrocarbons the carbon-based molecules that persist everywhere in nature now that's very rare hardly any other liquids do that so liquid water is a natural starting place when you look out into the universe and say what planets could possibly have life to understand how much liquid water is out there astronomers must first calculate how common water is in all its forms amazingly they find it everywhere they look water is incredibly common in its gaseous form we see water vapor filling the space between the stars we see it in clouds of material that are actually forming new stars and planets right now since water is a fundamental building block of stars and planets exoplanet worlds must surely have it in abundance but if you're looking for life you need to find liquid water and plenty up to find it astronomers take their cue from a fairy tale everybody knows the famous story of Goldilocks and the three bears and the cup of parts where one was too hot one was too cold I was just right when it comes to cooking up life like a porridge you need to have an environment that's not too hot not too cold just right and traditionally we look for that at a certain distance around a star at first astronomers based this magical distance known as the Goldilocks zone on the Earth's orbit around the Sun but as they found more and more exoplanets they've had to re-evaluate the boundaries from liquid water there isn't a single distance it depends on the brightness of your parent star a dim star you need to be closer hot star very bright need to be farther away scientists have calculated just how many rocky planets may lie within the Goldilocks zone of their stars it comes out to over 30 billion potentially watery work even more remarkably recent discoveries have shown us it's not just planets that can bask in the warmth of the Goldilocks zone there may be moons painted blue with oceans – most of the planets were finding our big jupiter-sized planets however a lot of them were are orbiting roughly where the earth is orbiting the Sun so even if the planet that we're finding can't support life it could have a moon a moon with an atmosphere that could support life and the biggest of these rocky moons they resemble our home there could be billions upon billions of XA means out there and even perhaps countless paradises teeming with life David kipping searches for exomoons by looking for double dips in the brightness of distant stars we look for XA means in a very similar way to the way that we look for planets by looking for them transit their host star now if that planet had a moon then we should expect to have one big dip due to the planet and then one smaller depth either to the left or to the right due to the new habitable exomoons may play host to one of the most spectacular sights in the universe imagine a warm rocky world just like our own with oceans mountains but in the sky a massive ringed planet with a fiery sister moon shooting hot magma into space exoplanets and now the vast potential of exomoons in a galaxy filled with the possibilities for life but a rocky surface and liquid oceans may not be enough biology needs the breath of life air backlit by the Sun a halo appears around the earth a pale blue ring of light our atmosphere and we oh it's everything the Earth's atmosphere provides the gases that fuel the biochemistry of advanced life but it also protects the oceans from the full fury of the sun's rays preventing the water from boiling away into space without an atmosphere there would be no wind no rain no freshwater and probably no life atmospheres are absolutely essential for life take a look at the planet Earth and you realize that just like the skin of the Apple the skin of the Apple preserves the Apple well the atmosphere of our planet preserves the oceans and makes possible the presidents of life as we know it scientists in search of living exoplanets hope to detect the thin gassy envelope that should surround these alien worlds to do it they're turning to the power of rainbows in the same way that water splits Sun lights into a rainbow astronomers use instruments to split starlight into a band of colors called a spectrum it's one of the oldest tricks in science and one of the most revealing several hundred years ago scientists first began to take something like a prism and put it in front of their telescope so he started taking the light from stars like the Sun and actually spreading it out into a spectrum and what they saw was kind of surprising so instead of seeing a ream continuous rainbow of light they saw that rainbow but they saw these dark lines superimposed on top each chemical elements of the star's atmosphere absorbs different parts of the spectrum creating signature dark bands for instance up at the top there's a pair of lines in the yellow part of the spectrum which are due to sodium like a DNA profile for stars spectral analysis has taught us almost everything we know about stars today but these same lines may hide a marvelous secret the faint signal of alien atmospheres and perhaps also alien life so the challenge is that these planets are very small and very faint so we can't actually go and directly measure the light emitted from the planet the same way that you go and measure this lovely spectrum for the Sun instead we have to rely on more indirect methods so one indirect way of doing that is to wait until the planet passes in front of the star when the light of a star passes through an excell atmosphere the gases that surround the planet should stamp their own faint lines on the star's spectrum so as we watched the light from the star transmitted through that atmosphere its atmosphere is going to act like a little filter so a part of the starlight is gonna pass through that atmosphere and we're gonna see that in printing extra lines on it which are due to the planet's atmosphere so that change in the spectrum tells us something about the properties the planet's atmosphere the one chemical astronomers most want to find is oxygen because only life can produce enough oxygen to be easily detected it's a so-called bio signature the race is now on to find bio signatures in the atmospheres of rocky exoplanets and while some groups look for rainbows indirectly others are tackling the challenge head-on all right then Oppenheimer is part of a team trying to take direct photographs of exoplanets using massive ground-based telescopes we're within minutes of taking our first long exposure and I hope it's good the greatest challenge to imaging exoplanets is the blinding light of the parent star which shines tens of millions of times brighter than the planet itself the trick is to stop the light of the star from entering the telescope sensors by blocking it using a series of masks and lenses called a coronagraph right now we're standing right underneath the telescope's primary mirror and the light comes through a hole in the middle of the mirror and goes into this crazy box here which is full of optics motors sensors and electronics that all allow us to precisely control the star light that's coming through the system using state-of-the-art software they manipulate the coronagraph to black out the unwanted light under good conditions we can actually carve dark holes into this image of the star so that we can see really faint things in those regions coronagraphs presents an intriguing problem though errors within the optics produce tiny flares of starlight called speckles that look just like exoplanets but man has come up with an ingenious way to tell speckles from planets so we've developed a technique where we exploit an aspect of speckles which is that they change position in the image depending on what color you take your image at so Ben takes the same image of the star through different color filters and runs them like a movie the speckles appear to move across the screen but the planets stay stock still allowing Ben to easily pick them out and so I'd like to point out that there is a little thing right here that if you watch for you're careful you'll notice that it doesn't move and the speckles are washing over it this stationary blob is a candidate exoplanet and below it and to the left is a second they both appear to orbit a star around 200 light-years from the earth just a decade ago capturing an image like this through a telescope was unthinkable but today thanks to the ingenuity of astronomers like Ben we have hundreds and by analyzing the light for these distant worlds scientists can work out their chemical composition and potentially the fingerprints of life at this point we're studying much larger planets gaseous things like Jupiter that most likely don't have any kind of life like we know it but that's a first step and we're going to fainter and smaller and smaller planets as time goes on as we develop this technology in the not-too-distant future scientists may be able to simply scan a star for earth-like planets and find the signature of life there we can look right at the light from a little planet around its distant star and that opens up a whole range of possibilities for us to not just detect the planet but to start a the planet I mean this all sounds like science fiction but there is a reality to this we have a scientific method to actually determine whether there is life on another planet life is one thing intelligent life another all together that requires billions of years and a powerful force field like the one we owe our lives to every day if an alien astronomer were to file a report on our home solar system they might make a surprising observation because of all the eight planets that orbit the Sun they could easily conclude the two not one were suitable for life it's an easy mistake to make because the Sun has two planets within its Goldilocks zone the Earth and Mars both planets have surfaces warm enough for liquid water to pool on but while the earth is blessed with warm liquid oceans ours is dry and dead the one crucial difference between these two planets could be the key to finding truly habitable exoplanets a magnetic shield our son is constantly hurling deadly radiation out towards us only our magnetic shield the magnetosphere saves us without it the solar wind would blow our atmosphere away and without an atmosphere liquid water could not exist on the surface in order to have liquid water not only do you need the right temperature but you need the right pressure you know if there were no atmosphere here right now even at the same temperature we are today all of the water would boil off into vapor immediately so where does the Earth's magnetosphere come from and why does it Mars have one actually in the past both Earth and Mars had magnetospheres but Mars lost it's around 4 billion years ago and with it the potential for life both the earth and Mars were born into a realm of violence asteroids smashed into their surfaces turning rock and metal into a molten mass as they started to cool a solid crust formed on the surface but the molten metal below churned as the planets turn inducing a magnetic field which rose high up above the surface of both planets at the same time active volcanoes pumped gas into the space around each planet protected by the newly formed magnetic field these gases built up into thick atmospheres creating the air pressure for liquid water to run on the surface for over a hundred million years both Mars and Earth were warm wet paradises primed for life to take off then quite suddenly Mars's magnetic protection disappeared the solar wind blew its atmosphere into space and its oceans boiled away leaving the dry sterile red rock we see today Mars is fundamental problem is is that it's smaller than Earth and because it's smaller the internal core of Mars cooled down and solidified and once it becomes a solid metal there's no more magnetic field magnetic field shuts off essentially and the atmosphere therefore is vulnerable to both energy and radiation from the Sun and the rest of the galaxy and probably just blew off whatever life was on there at least on the surface is now completely exposed all rocky planets will one day lose their magnetospheres as their cores cool and turn solid so to know if an exoplanet is alive you need to work out if its magnetosphere is still active but magnetospheres are tough to measure because they are unbelievably weak the earth has a magnetic field of approximately half a Gauss which when you think about it is actually really weak our fridge magnets are about a hundred Gauss they're much stronger Excel planets are too far away for us to measure such weak magnetic fields directly but there is an indirect method when electrons and the solar wind interact with a planet's magnetosphere they emit radio waves that beam out into space turning the planet into a giant radio beacon astronomers like of geniu hoped to use these signals to spot habitable exoplanets not only that the frequency of the signal should also tell her how big the planet is if we're looking for the magnetic signature in radio waves of a giant planet say a hot Jupiter we expect it to have a strong magnetic field and therefore it would have a high frequency and around 100 megahertz kind of where the limit of this radio is however a weaker field like Earth's requires us to go down to lower and lower frequencies so instead of a hundred megahertz we go down to ten megahertz but hunting for exoplanets at 10 megahertz presents a unique challenge because the Earth's own magnetic sphere creates a deafening radio roar at that frequency so to find alien Earth's using radio requires a dish in space when we want to look for magneto spheres of extrasolar planets we really need to get outside of the earth-moon system in order to get away from all the radio frequencies that are bouncing around the earth with a slew of new technologies and upcoming technologies scientists are edging ever closer to the ultimate prize finding a second earth I wouldn't be surprised if we have that data about an earth and about life on it around another star in 10 or 15 years I'm hoping to see that soon using shadows rainbows and now radio we finally have the tools to detect a planet just like our own but in the rush to find the Earth's identical twin are we missing something big what if earth is an outlier a freakishly lucky place on the very fringes of habitability could there be another kind of planet out there even better for life for years astronomers have scanned the heavens for planets that could sustain life they've faced their search on the earth seeking the exact same conditions and the exact same size I think right now there is a huge focus to finding earth-like planets now whether or not there actually is life there that is another question altogether but after 20 years of searching for an earth clone the exoplanet hunters may be about to switch targets recent observations have revealed a brand new class of planet it's one that may eclipse our own home we've learned something in the last few years that really shocked us with the Kepler space porn telescope we have found hordes of planets that are a little bigger than the earth we never imagined that there would be such planets in fact in our own solar system there are no planets between the size of the earth and the next largest planet that of Uranus and Neptune astronomers call these mysterious planets super-earths differ earths are about three to five times the mass of the earth and there's nothing like that here we don't know what they're like it's an entirely alien sort of planet in just the last few years astronomers have begun to imagine the conditions on this new class of planet and they've come to a startling conclusion super earths could be super habitable there are probably planets out there that are even more hospitable for life planets that have even more chemicals necessary to create the organic materials that create life conditions that make it more likely to get life off the ground imagine a rocky planet twice the size of the earth dramatic volcanism on the surface betrays a vast heart of fire that beats within its core we expect that a heavier earth will be more geologically active that the increased amount of geothermal heat within the super earth will lead to stronger motions of the magma underneath the crust belching volcanoes dot the surface of this super earth their gases feed a super thick atmosphere and help to regulate a super stable climate many times life on Earth was nearly extinguished for example once upon a time the earth was snowball earth completely covered in ice maybe in these other planets there are earth in which snowball earth never happened that the climate was always stable and temperate the grip of gravity is three times stronger here than we're used to it pulls mountain ranges down to a third the height they'd be on earth gravity also flattens the ocean bed making shallower CD's filled with volcanic island chains and the nutrient-rich waters that surround these archipelagos provide the perfect conditions for life in these other planets perhaps they have conditions which would make DNA get off the ground much earlier and flourish much more quickly finally our super earth may be protected by a super magnetosphere the magnetic field strength is a condition both of the mass of the planet as well as its rotation speed and so it is quite likely that a planet that is a couple of times bigger than the earths would be able to develop a stronger magnetic field may shield the planet even better than our magnetic field shields us having a stronger magnetosphere would be a distinct advantage for life on a super earth surrounding the Milky Way's most plentiful kind of star the M dwarf or red dwarf star red dwarf habitable zones are much closer in than the earth is to the Sun because their host star is so dim as if you took the terrestrial planets in our own solar system and zapped it with a shrink ray gun and shrunk them down to orbital periods that are less than about 30 days meaning that they're very close to their stars some astronomers believe these planets are at risk from solar activity such as deadly flares but a super-earth with a super protective magnetosphere may well resist these deadly rays allowing life to flourish under a psychedelic sky full of swirling Aurora's if one was standing on a super-earth we would see the Aurora come down to lower latitudes might get different colors if I had the opportunity to travel to one of these exoplanets I would snap that up pretty quickly most intriguing of all if life does exist on a red dwarf super earth it could be home to the longest-lived civilizations in the entire universe the advantage of the M Dwarfs is that they last for much longer and if you had a super earth then keeping a strong magnetic field going for billions and billions of years especially now around a red dwarf that is going to exist for billions and billions of years you might be in that perfect system where life can exist and evolve into even more complex beings than us we're getting so close our local neighborhood of stars teens with red dwarfs bursting with the potential for advanced life but they're also cosmic killers out there lurking in our galaxy primed to wipe out life on a regular basis is anywhere safe the exoplanet revolution is in full swing the Kepler space telescope has scanned our local neighborhood of stars for planets and it's found them by the thousands for a long time we didn't know if the other stars in our galaxy had planets and for thousands of years there was no way to answer that question finally now with modern technology we can do that and to our surprise we found they are extremely common from Kepler's small sample astronomers believe there could be tens of billions of rocky earth-like planets throughout the Milky Way where life may already be thriving but how many of these countless worlds has held on to this life long enough for intelligence to evolve the answer surprisingly may depend on a planet's galactic zip code the universe is not a happy safe place the universe wants to kill us it's it's incredibly violent out there there are solar flares and supernovae and black holes and colliding galaxies and all these really amazingly dangerous and violent events it's actually kind of amazing that we're here at all in order to develop advanced intelligent life and exoplanets may have to avoid these cosmic killers for over three billion years if we look at the history of the earth the first thing that happens that's important is the origin of life right away very quickly but then nothing for a long time you have nothing but microbes stomping on the earth for the first two and a half billion years the earth was ruled by single-celled multicellular life has only been around for a billion years fish for 500 million mammals for 200 million and modern humans have only walked the earth for the last 200 thousand years the lesson is clear it takes a long time to cook up intelligent life but most planets in the Milky Way don't have that kind of time astronomers believe that a planet's position within a galaxy may determine if it gets hit by global extinction events there's an idea of a habitable zone for a galaxy and it's in analogy to the habitable zone around stars stars too close to the galactic center are in the firing line from their violent neighbors which frequently blast them with deadly high-energy radiation in the middle of a galaxy we have a lot of bright stars and young stars and maybe even supernova going off and so there's a very harsh radiation field that's not good for life fired up by the supermassive black hole that sits at the center of the Milky Way this cosmic Killzone stretches out around 8,000 light years from the galactic center and extends out along the densely packed spiral arms any planets that exist within this zone are likely to have their surfaces regularly scrubbed clean of life fortunately for us our home star the Sun sits in a relatively empty quiet zone between two of the galaxy's spiral arms so there's this idea that there's a band in the middle of the galaxy that's the Galactic habitable zone where you don't have too many stars going off you don't have it too many supernovae so it's quiet in that way those might be great places for complex life these green zones are like the suburbs of the Milky Way galaxy they're sheltered from the worst of the galaxy's radiation it's here that earth-like worlds will have the luxury of long uninterrupted periods for life to take hold and develop into more complex forms and eventually perhaps intelligent life like us the Galactic habitable zone is no more than a fledgling theory but if it's true it reduces the number of places where advanced life could flourish in the Milky Way the good news is those places should be near us and aliens more likely to be on our doorstep and with our technology getting better every day it surely won't be long before we find them I think in 20 years time I'm going to be able to look up into the night sky and say there really is another place I could stand like this and feel at home suddenly we humans will realize for the first time that there are other cultures other civilizations probably other religions out there among the stars and we are just one member of a grand galactic tribe to have cousins that we won they may communicate with seems to me to be potentially one of the greatest developments that humanity will ever ever experience and if that isn't worth doing I don't know what is all systems are go for entry descent landing goodbye at the dawn of the 21st century space agencies in Europe and America began making plans to land the first humans on Mars but manned missions to the red planet have been proposed before for some Mars holds the answers to mankind's future in space others say Mars is too far too dangerous and too expensive for humans to explore and in a world torn by troubles some say there is no need or will for mankind to reach into space anymore more than 30 years after the last Apollo astronaut walked on the moon the American manned space program seems to have lost its way unable to reach beyond even in low-earth orbit we've got a problem NASA has been literally going around in circles with its space program for the past 30 years astronaut school engineer dr. Robert Zubrin has been arguing for years that sending humans to Mars is the mission the space program needs it's time that we set goals for NASA that were worthy of the risks of human spaceflight Mars is the next logical step in our space program it's the challenge that's been staring us in the face for the past 30 years it's the planet that's most like the earth it's the planet that has honored the resources needed to support life and therefore someday technological civilization it's the planet that will provide us with the answer as to whether life is prevalent in the universe or exclusive to the earth and it's the planet that will give us the critical tests to whether humanity can break out of the planet of our birth and become a spacefaring species in the early 1990s Zubrin was the head of the Mars direct program at Martin Marietta astronautics his team developed a mission to Mars that could be done at a fraction of NASA's projected costs using only existing technology Zubrin argues that the first steps on Martian soil could be made within 10 years there is absolutely nothing in this that is beyond our technology we are not ready to send humans to Mars right now we don't know how to keep them alive there are people out there who say we can go to Mars tomorrow one of my requirements one of NASA's requirements is that if we send humans to Mars we bring them back alive for the past 15 years Zubrin and his colleagues have waged a campaign to convince society and the political class that humans on Mars should be the goal for NASA now this is the story of a cold neighboring planet and the debate over where the man's fate is tied to the red world it's the story of an engineer's journey and the battle of ideas over which direction in space will truly benefit mankind we're at a crossroads today we either muster the courage to go or we risk the possibility of stagnation in the case the victor in this debate could determine the fate of mankind will we become a spacefaring species will we live on more than one planet in the winter of 2003 the Chinese put their first Thai connell in space the Chinese space administration plans to begin a manned program of moon exploration by 2017 the european space agency has outlined the plan for humans to the moon by 2024 and to mars by 2033 and the Russians building on years of experience are conducting tests for long-duration Mars missions in America with the impending retirement of the shuttle fleet in the completion of the International Space Station the brochure administration announced in 2004 the constellation program on the moon a plan that would return Americans to the moon by 2020 but the program was never fully funded was eventually cancelled in 2010 the Obama administration announced its vision for NASA and human Mars exploration by the mid 2030s I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to earth and landing on Mars will follow and I expect to be around to see it [Applause] with a new timeline for humans to Mars sometime after 2035 and with administration's changing every four or eight years it is far from certain that such a plan will be realized twenty years earlier the first president Bush also proposed a long internal human exploration program under great fanfare the program quietly died in Congress a few years later if you want to go to Mars you cannot do it in 30 years you can't do in 20s you gotta do it in ten years or some program start or you're more or less guaranteeing political failure to date only the Apollo moon program which was announced in 1961 and had men on the moon eight years later has succeeded in getting astronauts beyond low Earth orbit I was 5 when Sputnik flew and while to the adults Sputnik was a terrifying event to me as a child who was already reading science fiction it was exhilarating because it meant that this possibility of a spacefaring future was going to be real and I was 9 when he gave his speech committing us to the moon I grew up during the 60s when newest mercury was Gemini Apollo every month NASA was doing something more impressive than in a month before we were gonna be on the moon by 1970 Mars by 1980 Saturn by 1990 Alpha Centauri by the year 2000 we were moving out and I wanted to be part of that and so I got myself a scientific education but then in the early 70s it's all collapsed we achieved the first part of that program moon by 1970 but the Nixon administration shut down the rest and we did not move out into space and for a while I accepted that grudgingly it became a science teacher but then in the early 80s something hit me and I said I'm not going to accept myself doing less than what I had dreamed of doing when I was a boy Zubin went back to graduate school getting advanced degrees in engineering in the aerospace he then went on to work at Martin Marietta which later became Lockheed Martin designing interplanetary missions it was here that zubrin's obsession with the red planet began to take hold while at Martin in the 1990s Zubrin and his colleagues developed a plan for sending humans to Mars that changed NASA's thinking on the issue but the plan has languished on the drawing boards ever since now as president of the Mars Society Zubrin is at center stage in the debate over the future of manned spaceflight known as a smart visionary scientist he has authored several books on exploring space and is the self-appointed spokesman for the possibility of colonizing Mars Mars is where the futurist Mars is the closest planet to the earth that has honored all the resources needed to support life and therefore technological civilization it has water it has carbon it has nitrogen it has a 24-hour day it has a complex geological history that has created mineral or it has sources of geothermal energy Mars is a place we can settle one reason for such optimism over a frozen world like Mars is evidence that two billion years ago Mars was a much warmer and wetter place we think that at one time in the ancient past Mars was very similar to the condition of early Earth this Martian war mage lasted for over a billion years and could have been a suitable environment for the development of life if we go to Mars and find evidence of a second Genesis on Mars I think we can conclude that the universe is full of life we can probably conclude that on some planets that life evolves to more complex forms and I think we'd be reasonable to conclude that intelligence could also emerge on some planets as well it really does answer the question are we alone that to me is a question that transcends science it's a philosophical societal as well as scientific question to me that's the big prize that's what why Mars is interesting that's why human exploration makes sense space programs are often criticized for the huge sums of money they require although the American space program is less than 1% of the federal budget a human mission to Mars may have to wait for better times there are those who say then we have many problems to deal with here on earth and we need to postpone ventures such as the human exploration on Mars until these problems are solved well there are many problems in Spain in 1492 and there still are there are problems that need to be dealt with here on earth and should be dealt with but we also have to think of the future you also have to think about opening up new volumes in human history I believe that it's essential for a positive human future that humanity expand into space the greatest value that we got out of Apollo was the creation of intellectual capital through the inspiring of millions to go into science and engineering to be part of the great adventure of human expansion into space there's a phrase that happened with the Apollo program which was if we can go to the moon we can and then everybody's filled in whatever they were interested in build mass transit cure cancer do this through that the point is it did give us a sense that we could accomplish great things it did bring out the best of us we excited a generation of engineers and scientists the generation that built the computers and cell phones and all the technology everybody uses today it takes for granted if we send humans to Mars as our goal we'll get millions of new scientists that will create new inventions new industries this is the enormous payback and we can get it if we set the kind of challenge that will inspire the youth to Zubrin civilizations like people thrive on challenge and decay without it we have everything we have today because of our predecessors who had the courage to leave the world of the known and go out into the wilderness and build new cities and if we stop being people like that then we will hand down much less to our posterity than our ancestors handed down to us so there's the choice in life one either grows or one decays grow or die I think we should grow history proves that we have never lost by pressing the limits of our frontier in the summer of 1989 the first president Bush announced the space exploration initiative directing NASA to draw up long-term plans to get humans back to the moon and begin developing a program of manned Mars exploration at Martin Marietta Zubrin and his colleagues looked forward to moving NASA's Space Program outwards after two decades in low-earth orbit of course we were very excited when Bush made his call saying that he was making a national commitment to implement such a program NASA assembled a large team to take on the space initiative in 90 days the team developed a 30-year plan that required an enormous buildup of space infrastructure what the NASA bureaucracy decided to do was basically design the most complex mission they possibly could in order to make sure that everyone's pet technology would remain mission-critical which is the exact opposite of the correct way to do engineering first NASA would triple the size of the planned space station and add enormous hangars as well as free-floating fuel depots checkout Docs and crew stations then on the moon they would construct more shipbuilding facilities bases and depots next the moon crew would construct the Mars ship a huge craft dubbed by its detractors as Battlestar Galactica this ship would carry everything to Mars over an 18-month flight once in Mars orbit a small group would descend to the surface spend a few days then plant a flag in the ground and go home the plan became known as the 90-day report to those of us at Martin who had been engaged in designing Mars missions when they saw the monstrosity of complexity of the 90-day report we were dismayed and it was readily apparent to anyone with any insight that that program would fail politically the plan was submitted to Congress the estimated cost 450 billion the legislators went into sticker shock this would have been the single most expensive program for the United States since World War two by the end of 1990 Congress had refused all requests for sei funding when the realization came the sei was doomed Zubrin wrote a memo to his colleagues at Martin Marietta outlining his problems with the NASA plan and arguing for a more direct approach Zubrin favored launching a Mars mission directly from the surface of Earth using only existing rocket technology this negated the need for a lunar base and avoided the complexity and cost of building ships in space he also objected to NASA's plan for a short surface stay on Mars a mission that would amount to little more than a flag and footprints exercise to Zubrin we were going to Mars to explore and develop a new world to maximize surface time Zubrin proposed using a faster flight path known as a conjunction class mission this would mean a crew could arrive on Mars after only a six-month journey they would then remain on the Martian surface for a year and a half this would give the team time to explore a wide area and conduct detailed research about the planet then as the earth returned window opens crew would launch from Mars a six-month trip home Zubrin was convinced that a simplified more robust and cost-effective mission could be designed using these principles along with several like-minded colleagues Zubrin decided to ask management at Martin to allow them to design alternative Mars missions the management approvement and we formed a team was known as the scenario development team of just 12 people from the whole very large Martin company one team member whose thinking was closely aligned with zubrin's was David Baker I went off to my office and said alright how would I do a Mars mission if I had to pay for it and I had to go on the ride and I said well it's gonna be simple there's gonna be no on-orbit assembly I really tried to take everything out of the mission that didn't absolutely need to be there while the rest of the team focused on longer-term more traditional mission plans that required on-orbit assembly Zubrin and Baker decided to collaborate on a mission that could be done near-term we decided to do Mars the way Lewis and Clark did America use local resources travel light live off the land Zubrin and Baker were convinced that a Mars mission could be launched directly from the ground the other team members felt this was impossible that the weight of the rocket fuel required for a round trip to Mars was so enormous it would render the launch ship and possibly heavy to solve this problem Zubrin was exploring a radical idea that had been kicked around the aerospace industry since the 1970s the idea was to produce a methane-oxygen rocket fuel directly from the Martian atmosphere it was a relatively simple and robust Chemical Engineering procedure that was done commonly in the 1800s the air of The Gaslight if the idea worked astronauts could land a relatively light ship with empty tanks they wouldn't have to ship all the fuel with them for their return trip this would radically lower their size and weight the only problem was methane-oxygen fuel requires a hydrogen component hydrogen exists on Mars in the form of h2o but water may be difficult or impossible to extract from the Martian environment really the hydrogen was only 5% of the total weight of the methane-oxygen propellant being manufactured so if you just say ok we won't be pure we all would get all of the propellant from Mars we'll just get 95% of the propellant from Mars the other 5% of the hydrogen will just bring from Earth another fundamental resource that could be extracted from the Martian environment his oxygen second processing unit could separate oxygen molecules from the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere providing breathable air for a Mars crew if used intelligently the same resources that make Mars interesting are precisely what could make it attainable Baker and Zubrin had greatly reduced their mission mass but they still found their ship was too heavy and would require two launches and assembly in space then Zubrin hit on an idea one of the key events of the Mars directive element was one morning Bob burst in my office and said I've got it the idea that I finally hit on in 1989 was that we would split the mission up into two parts and we'd send the return vehicle out first with its own return propellant plant so the propellant would be made on Mars before the first astronauts ever left her with two separate direct mars launches a human crew would have a fully fueled ship waiting for them on the surface of mars before they ever left Earth so Zubrin and Baker had come up with a plan that seemed to accomplish all of their goals it was relatively inexpensive development time was short they could use existing technology and it allowed for a long stay on the Martian surface they dubbed their idea Mars direct board and Ares rocket is the earth return vehicle or ERV no one has aboard this ship it will pave the way for the astronauts who years later we'll use the ERV to return to Earth on its second day the ERV deploys a small nuclear power reactor the reactor powers a chemical plant inside the ERV the plant will produce the methane-oxygen rocket fuel for the launch home nearby a second robotic rover is guided to a pre-picked landing site for the human crew it places a radar transponder to help guide the astronauts in the long journey to land a human being on Mars begins three two one engines carrying the most skillfully assembled flight team in history four astronauts begin their two and a half year mission to the Red Planet this will be the first time a human has gone beyond the earth-moon system 250 million miles farther than any person has ever been to counter the health problems of zero-gravity and to fully acclimate the astronauts to Mars the ship will deploy a weight in tether attached to the last stage of the spent rocket booster by thrusting the ship into a rotational spin the counterweight of the rocket will create centrifugal force and thus artificial gravity the crew will be able to live with their feet planted firmly on the floor during their six-month transit but the hab is not entirely alone on its journey just ahead of it is a second ERV identical to the first launched just a few weeks prior to the Harpe it will prepare the way for a second human crew that will follow two years later it can also function as a backup for the first mission if anything should go wrong on the sixth month of the flight the crew will gaze upon an alien world this is the new frontier after days in orbit unsatisfied with the landing conditions the crew will receive final word from Mission Control on earth it will be a tense 40 minutes before people back on earth get the signal from Mars and know if everything has gone well okay [Applause] for more than 500 days the astronauts will live on Mars and embark on one of the greatest journeys of discovery in the history of science will they find life or the fossilized remains of past life such a discovery could tell us whether our solar system has seen more than one Genesis and answer the ultimate question are we alone in any case these explorers will be learning how feasible the colonization of Mars really is and whether or not mankind has a future among the stars then when the time comes in the window for Earth return opens crew will climb into their earth return vehicle and head they will arrive home heroes the first to stretch the limit of man's expanse from one planet to another their names added to the list of great explorers of new worlds in their footsteps others who follow what began as a trickle is free to rise into a deluge of humankind sweeping over a once barren land and transforming it into a viable new world when Baker and Zubrin presented Mars direct to their bosses at Martin they expected the worst to their surprise management was excited about it they liked the fact that everything needed was relatively simple and near-term as time went on Martin Marietta embraced Mars direct as their creation and put Bob and I on an airplane to several NASA centers to present Mars direct and try to build some momentum for Baker and Zubrin flew to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama this had been one of the original design hubs for the Apollo moon landings but recently many of the engineers had become demoralized by the failure of NASA's sei program tag-team style Baker and Zubrin presented their alternative mission architecture the response was thrilling the old-school Apollo crowd embraced it this was a plan that actually made sense and was within reach Baker and I gave a number of briefings the first was at the Marshall Space Flight Center next was a chance these people were incredibly excited over the next few weeks Zubrin and Baker were flown around the country pitching to all branches of NASA and everywhere they went the response was electric the plan was standing up to scrutiny and groups all over NASA were converting to Mars direct their tour culminated in a public presentation to the National Space Society the crowd gave the two aerospace engineers a standing ovation [Applause] a week later the story was in newspapers around the country the counter-attack was beginning to form within NASA the space station teams and many in the advanced propulsion groups were against the idea since Mars direct didn't need their programs they felt under threat as quickly as doors opened for Zubrin and Baker they began to close NASA didn't want to pursue a Mars mission at that time they didn't want to be derailed by a bunch of Mars fanatics that thought that their idea of what NASA should do should overwhelm what NASA thought NASA should do what we did in Mars direct was literally come up with the leanest solution the one that involved the least spending on an assortment of technologies and infrastructural elements including for example we made no use whatsoever of the International Space Station and so people involved in all those programs were very upset because we were showing they shouldn't go to Mars without their program being required they felt that we were justifying them the Nasser administration rejected Mars direct the two engineers were Outsiders again but Zubrin remained determined Bob had grabbed hold of it and I could see that it was his and no matter what I did he was gonna do what he was going to do and he was going to be a proponent for it and push it and I really saw my role sort of evaporate it's a little bit like being a dim planet next to a bright star around him in terms of his enthusiasm and you really can't compete with that all you can do is decide how you're going to deal with it by February 1991 Baker quit Martin to start his own firm Zubrin battled on for the next year and a half Zubrin tried to get NASA to pay attention giving speeches writing papers at Mars directs time seemed to have passed but then in 1992 a new administration came into power at NASA and Zubrin saw a second chance I was invited to brief Mike Griffin who was the associate administrator for space exploration in charge of the whole space exploration initiative he immediately became a very strong supporter Mars direct but before the engineers at NASA would take another look at Mars direct they wanted Zubrin to prove the producing rocket fuel on Mars could work they gave Martin Marietta a small budget to do an experiment Zubrin and his team built a machine called the in-situ propellant plan it could take carbon dioxide the dominant gas in the Martian atmosphere combine it with a little hydrogen and produce a methane-oxygen fuel we did it in three months with a very small team we built a plant that was 94% efficient and no one who actually participated in that effort was actually a real chemical engineer they were all aerospace engineers like me who were simply dabbling in chemistry in order to prove to NASA that 19th century chemical engineering really worked with the experiment success the administration had Zubrin give detailed briefings of the mission plan to the engineers of the Johnson Space Center they liked it but had some problems Dave Weaver was the lead mission architect there were a number of things that we were concerned about with bob zubrin's mission first of all we thought his estimates of mass were probably too optimistic didn't have sufficient margins for a variety of things not the least of which would be things like provisions for the crew the amount of water that would be required we thought as a sent vehicle was very large which meant his power requirements his propellant requirements were much larger than needed to be his trip times out were too long and that for a very little effort you could get him shorter the other problem was the size of his crew he had a four-person crew I think virtually every study that's been done says that a four-person crew for a three-year type of mission is probably not realistic Weaver took Zubrin into his office and the two men worked out compromised mission architecture first Weaver wanted three launches for every mission instead of two the first year three ships would launch a MAV Mars ascent vehicle an unoccupied hab and an ERV earth return vehicle the harb and MAV would land on the surface and begin producing fuel for the return flight and air for the crew these crafts would spend to solitary years on Mars allowing NASA to test all of the system's before sending a human crew then in the third year three more ships would launch this time with the hab occupied by astronauts the other two ships are for a future mission unless needed as a backup for this crew once on Mars the team could also utilize the first hab then after a year and a half stay the crew would climb aboard their small capsule and rendezvous with the returned ship this ship would carry them back home in a roomier environment than zubrin's ERV Zubrin called the plan Mars semi direct NASA called it the design reference mission they had a larger crew than we had they had bigger ships they had more equipment they had heavier equipment so they had to do the mission in three launches instead of two but it was done with the same principles of Mars direct the plan was subjected to the same cost analysis that tagged the 90-day report with a four hundred and fifty billion dollar price tag the design reference mission came back at a fraction of the cost 55 billion spread out over 10 years it could be done within NASA's existing budget the plan made the cover of Newsweek here was a mission architecture that was affordable and could be done today with existing technology but NASA's astronauts have not left low-earth orbit Sint with the completion of the International Space Station and the retiring of the space shuttle program a debate rages over the future of space exploration should NASA continue to focus on low-earth orbit developing technologies for the future or shouldn't a sir have a goal like it did in the 1960s with Apollo the way we got to the moon was by a presidential imperative that demanded that NASA get to the moon within a decade so NASA was forced to sit down design a plan for how to do that and then fly the mission since that time without the presence of the driving imperative we engage in basically a random set of constituency driven programs which are justified ad hoc afterwards by the argument that they could prove useful at some time in the future when you actually have a plan to go somewhere I think nASA has focused on a steady process where the government can't just pull the plug on their funding I think the Apollo cancellation was very traumatic for NASA and it really transformed NASA from what it was in the 60s to more of what it is now if you have a singular program like going to Mars then it is very vulnerable to having its funding pool NASA must be destination-driven it is the only thing that allows the agency to be productive NASA was a hundred times more productive when it was destination-driven than in the period that has not been and we have stagnated in NASA since 1973 thirty years more than a generation has been wasted the American space program has been stacking for thirty years there is a once-in-a-generation shot right now to get it moving again by giving it a goal that will take it somewhere some mistakes today are high and if you ask me if I am nervous right now high and dr. Zubrin why is NASA stuck in low-earth orbit the problem with NASA's lack of current achievement is not money the problem is lack of focus its lack of a goal it shouldn't be humans to Mars in 50 years it should be humans to Mars in 10 we can do this we do not need gigantic nuclear-electric spaceships to send people to Mars that that is pork it's nonsense the primary question I get from American people is why aren't we doing this there's a big sense of disappointment almost verging on a sense of betrayal the purpose of spaceships is to actually travel across space and go to new worlds not to hang out in space and observe the health effects from doing so dr. Zubrin in your testimony you were very passionate but you also were mad you're mad we haven't done this or that this vision has been stolen from a generation I guess you could say that it's like Columbus coming back from the New World and Ferdinand and Isabella saying ask so what forget it burned the ships okay you know that's what has happened in this country we've won our point that there needs to be a destination what we need the point we need to win on now is the destination needs to be Mars and it needs to be suit the movement to send humans to Mars in the near term began at the University of Colorado in 1978 a graduate student in Astro geophysics named Chris McKay gave a small seminar on the possibility of introducing life to Mars I got interested in Mars in graduate school I enter graduate school the same year that Viking landed on Mars and sent back these images that sent back data that showed all the elements needed for life are here on this planet and yet there's no life here I know that's sort of the lights are on and nobody's home and I thought well that's curious so some of my other grad students and I we sort of got together to talk about well if there's no life on Mars now could we put life there and that evolved also into the question was maybe there was life in the past and so we could find fossils evidence of it well how would you do that while you do that by sending people there together with fellow graduate students the group decided to put together a small conference to discuss the matter of human Mars exploration we basically just started a forum we invited everybody from all the NASA centers and from all the universities were involved in it and they all came and it was it really was in retrospect I realized a very important step toward building a consensus for human exploration of Mars in 1996 I published my first book the case for Mars and the response was phenomenal I got 4,000 letters from all of the world I had parisian bankers and 12 year old kids in poland and firemen from Saskatoon and astronauts and they're all writing me and saying how do we make this happen Bob Zubrin came to the third Mars conference and got very much involved he was willing and interested in forming a society forming a group in organizing said look if we could pull these people together we can get them to work together we could have a force that could actually make humans to Mars happen the group formed the Mars Society Robert Zubrin became the president they held their first convention in 1998 that convention was just magic we had no idea how many people were coming they were there not just from the United States and Canada and Europe they were there from Israel they were there from Mozambique we are there from New Zealand it was astonished since its inception the Mars Society has attracted members worldwide Derek Shannon is the head of the Southern California Chapter he's met with political leaders from all over the country if you make them look at the whole Mars vision in historical terms it becomes a much easier so how will be Martians remember our century they're probably not going to remember our deficit our Wars or healthcare those will be footnotes what they'll remember is it out of all of human history there came a generation that decided to take this amazing step out into space and if you tell politicians that they're the ones whose names actually get to be remembered that's when hopefully the space program starts going somewhere in order to further the knowledge necessary for a manned mission to the red planet the Mars Society has been building research stations around the globe all of them based on the design of zubrin's hab module most recently the society set up a desert Research Station in Utah here international researchers and aerospace students come to do experiments under the harsh desert conditions and learn what's necessary to keep a Mars crew alive and productive basically what we're doing here is undergoing analog studies crews of up to six people at a time come together to live in a full simulation environment for up to 14 days so what that means is every time we go outside they have people have to Don spacesuits after depressurize when we go outside they call extra vehicular activities they can only be of a certain duration to the air supply we have to recycle and water and basically have our own food as well it's great to fantasize but it's another thing when you have to put it together when the nuts have to fit the bolts like the Apollo missions to the moon sending human beings to Mars will mean putting people in harm's way there are many dangers in outer space and many things could go wrong a serious equipment breakdown could doom the crew to their deaths some argue that the risk of failure is simply too high you know back in the days when medieval man was looking out from Europe thinking about exploring in the world the world was unknown and mapmakers populated their maps with dragons we've got the same thing today there are people who are afraid to go out into space and they've populated their maps of the solar system of dragons you know we've got cosmic radiation we've got zero gravity we've got bat contamination but these are dragons that we can take on there are two kinds of radiation astronauts must contend with in outer space solar flares and cosmic rays solar flares are floods of protons that burst from the Sun at irregular intervals and would be dangerous to an unshielded human crew we are now ready to send humans to Mars right now we've got to know a lot more about radiation and radiation mitigation one of the Apollo flights barely missed like by a week a major solar event if it had gone off when the Apollo astronauts are on the way back and forth to the moon they would have gotten their entire lifetime radiation dose in that one mission and that's it's one Solar Flare so that's why we worry about this in the Maz direct plan Zubrin envisions a central insulated core where a crew can retreat to while the radiation passes by the core would be surrounded by all the provisions of the mission this should stop any harmful dose of radiation from reaching the astronauts basically you use your pantry as your storm shelter so a solar flare happens the alarm bell rings the crew goes into the storm shelter they stay in there cramped up pretty tight for a few hours until the all-clear rings and they come out this is gonna happen once it might happen twice in the course of the mission the second type of radiation is cosmic rays this constant rain of charged particles comes from interstellar space and cannot be avoided without many metres of shielding we can experience some of this type of radiation on earth at high altitudes airline pilots who spend their career is flying high in the atmosphere can receive almost as much of this radiation throughout their life as a Mars astronaut would on a two-and-a-half year mission it's a long trip it's a six-month trip there six months back is probably a year on the surface that's a lot of radiation the best estimates are that the magnitude of that dose is not that great perhaps 60 REM of radiation scattered over two-and-a-half years now 60 REM of radiation delivered over a long period of time like that would not create any noticeable effects at all it would though it is believed increase your statistical risk of getting cancer at some point later in your life by about 1% right now if you're an average American and you do not smoke you have a 20% chance you're going to die of cancer this would make it 21 if you're an average American smoker it's 40 in fact if you recruited the Mars crew out of smokers and sent them to Mars without their tobacco you would be reducing their chance of getting cancer with the immense distance from Earth never before experienced by a human being with the constant dangers of outer space surrounding their small life-sustaining craft and with nowhere else to go the psychological impact on a crew could be severe fear is real I mean it would be to me abnormal for a person to not feel the fear of getting on a rocket and launching into space and going to Mars so I think fear is a very normal thing that all astronauts in fact are supposed to have and I would be afraid to fly with someone who does not have fear some psychologists worry the cabin fever could set in and the crew might literally go crazy the human Mars mission is a more rigorous and difficult condition than most of us experience in daily life but it is hardly more difficult situation than many people have endured throughout human history we could compare the Mars crew to the crew of 19th century or prior sailing vessels many of whom were away from home for 3 years or more than three years under conditions in which they're eating extremely bad food without any medical knowledge to support their health commanded by brutal officers in every respect the crew of a human Mars mission with the full support of Mission Support in the whole world cheering for them and great rewards awaiting for them in life upon their return is in a vastly superior condition the Mazda eight crew spend most of their time inside the two-story hab carefully designed to promote psychological well-being despite the confinement the space where I think everybody would spend the most time you know just like a lot of homes on earth it would be the galley ward room area there would be chairs a table some kind of large screen for entertainment you would have individual staterooms about four or five feet wide the ability for them to communicate with loved ones with colleagues on earth I think will be almost unlimited a Mars crew will need to be carefully chosen and thoroughly tested to ensure their ability to handle the extreme isolation John Young went to the moon used to say that he could cover the earth by just lifting his thumb up to up to it and he says that when you go to Mars you are going to redefine the concept of loneliness and so it is very important that be well-balanced and well-chosen so that they can support each other whoever gets picked to go they will have to learn to live together for two-and-a-half years if you put out a call for volunteers for the first crew DeMars they'd be lined up coast to coast most people recognize what's left after you go is the good you left behind and to take part in adventure of this character such a historic character of extending the reach of the Ewing species this is something of immortal significance one of the most bogus threats associated with the Mars mission is the so called back contamination issue which is this notion that you go to Mars and discover these virulent disease organisms that you bring back earth and destroy all life on Earth if we discover life on Mars one fear is that our earth biology will have no defense against possible Martian pathogens some argue that missions to Mars cannot be risked until we can prove Mars is free from harmful contaminants this is completely nonsensical there's natural transfer of material from Mars to earth all the time we get around 500 kilograms of unsterilized Martian rocks landing on earth every year and they have been doing so for the past three four billion years and so if there were Martian organisms that could contaminate the earth they've already done so although the prospect of Martian diseases seems remote lawmakers have required that NASA create elaborate protocol to ensure that any extraterrestrial material stays contained and like the Apollo astronauts who spent 17 days in quarantine after they returned from a sterile moon a Mars crew will have to be thoroughly tested for any harmful Martian pathogens the probability is infinitesimally tiny but nevertheless this is our home planet and it's extremely important and we have to protect it the idea of a pathogen on Mars is clearly ridiculous because there is no megafauna or mega flora on Mars for pathogens to infect so it is impossible to propose a credible life cycle for a martian pathogen the diseases that afflict us have been Co evolving with us and our ancestors and near relatives for the past three billion years and they are specifically designed to live inside the habitat of the human body and to overcome its defenses and they've been engaged in an arms race with the human defenses for those three billion years this is why humans do not get diseases from distantly related species for example I don't know of any person who has ever contracted Dutch elm disease you know in trees don't get colds when the first Mars Lander touches down the crew will be staring out at a new world a place that in four billion years no eyes have ever seen the crew won't be alone millions of television viewers back home will be watching as the first man or woman places their footprint into the rust-colored soil the crew will savor these moments for here someday a new branch of civilization might begin and future Martians will remember and celebrate this day there is much for the crew to do and explore one of their main mission objectives will be to search for signs of microscopic life to do this they will follow the ancient water flows for on earth where there is water there is life to help the crew in their search they will have a pressurized Rover it allows them to explore in a comfortable shirtsleeve environment this means the crew can examine a vast area around the landing site during their 18-month stay and there is much to explore Mars has 58 different kinds of topography and a surface area equivalent to all the continents of Earth combined if these explorers can uncover the fossilized remnants of indigenous Martian life they will redefine mankind's understanding of its place in the universe but if life arose separately on a planet so close to our own it strongly suggests that the universe is a biologically rich place and full of life for some the ultimate question of Martha is will there be human settlements on the planet will Mars become a new branch of human civilization as each subsequent Mars mission explores a wider and wider area of the planet over several years an ideal site for a base will be found probably worn with a thermal vent that can supply water and power at that point several Habs will be landed in this one spot with crews that plan to stay for eight or even twelve years perhaps we'll be interconnected and a permanent human presence on Mars will be established this scientific community will have to learn to become self-sufficient to be able to survive on Mars without supply is constantly being sent from Earth but unlike any other planet in the solar system besides Earth Mars has all of the fundamentals needed to make this possible it's 24 hour and 37 minute day is critical for growing plants it has all of the elements necessary for creating building materials like plastics metals and glass and it has oceans of water frozen into the soil if we can develop this craft of living on Mars then Mars becomes in heaven not immediately physically but intellectually I mean look what determines whether an environment is habitable or not is Colorado habitable we're not naturally adapted to live in Colorado where tropical animals no one could survive the single winter night here without technology such as clothing efficient use of fire we invented our way into becoming people that could colonize such hostile environments eventually with a lot of ingenuity and invention the scientists will learn to live off the land they will grow crops in the iron-rich but potassium poor soil and they will produce oxygen and energy from the water and atmosphere sooner or later children will be born the first true Martians they will grow up to see Mars as their home with time more and more people will arrive these won't only be scientists but settlers people who plan to stay they may come for all kinds of reasons but to them Mars will be a chance to start over to build a new life for themselves the well of human social thought is not exhausted by the present age and I don't think we'll ever be exhausted there will always be people with new ideas on how humans should live together with Mars so far away the hold of earth governments on their colonies will be tenuous the Martians will need to govern themselves Mars is not going to be utopia Mars is gonna be a lab it's an open frontier it's a place where things are gonna be tried out I think we'll see a lot of noble experiments on Mars perhaps some of these Martian colonies with their novel ideas based on the best thought the 21st century has to offer maybe they'll find ways in which humans create societies that are more humane and offer more opportunity for you and potential the ultimate dream of the Martians will be to terraform their planet to make Mars as hospitable as Earth this may not be as big a fantasy as it seems here we are in Earth a world that's very sophisticated and developed and complete and anything we do is just a subtraction it's because we live in such a biologically rich planet when we go to Mars we have an opportunity that we don't have on earth here's a planet that's died here's a world that's not full of biology it probably doesn't have any at all well there we can actually do something to help once there are large human settlements on Mars that we have significant industrial capability we could actually start addressing ourselves to the question of transforming the Martian environment itself terraforming Mars s called because Mars was once a warm and wet planet and it could be made so again through human engineering efforts with daytime temperatures in the Martian tropical zone averaging around zero degrees centigrade and with an atmosphere only 1% as thick as Earth's exposure to these elements by a human without a space suit would be instantly fatal the first step to terraforming Mars and bringing it back to life will be for the Martian colonists to warm up their planet well we know how to warm up planets we're doing it on earth by putting gases in the atmosphere on earth it's not a good idea to warm up the planet the temperature was just fine thank you we don't need it any warmer here but in principle if you could trap the sunlight reaching Mars today every single photon that's hitting Mars Mars would warm up in about 10 years well obviously you can't trap every single photon that's hitting Mars but you can trap about 10 percent of them with the greenhouse effect so that would imply that Mars could warm up in about 100 years 100 years is a long time but it's not astronomically long one idea is to build small automated factories that produce super greenhouse gasses with no ozone depleting side effects although these gases would be unwelcome on earth for the Martians there would be an efficient way to trap heat then within a few decades we would raise Mars by more than 10 degrees centigrade and if you did that that would cause massive amounts of carbon dioxide that is currently adsorbed into the Martian soil to start to outguess carbon dioxide is also a natural greenhouse gas as it builds up in the atmosphere more and more heat will be trapped which will in turn cause more co2 to out gas the process will become automatic and as the atmosphere thickens Mars will eventually reach a state of equilibrium and stay warm naturally the rise in air pressure would mean that the human colonists could discard their pressure suits and walk around the surface of Mars carrying only a supply of oxygen and as the temperatures rise on Mars water frozen into the soil will begin to melt out and for the second time in its history Mars would have liquid water on its surface drei Martian rivers will start to flow Seas will rise and there will be rain clouds in the skies the return of Mars to its warm and wet stage will make it a fertile environment for life any indigenous Martian organisms lying dormant will begin to grow and Mars will be full of Martians if no native life emerges well that life is all dead and humans could begin addressing the idea of bringing life from Earth at first it would be simple organisms perhaps genetically engineered that would thrive in the Martian environment then more complex plants could be introduced the plants would be right at home in the carbon dioxide atmosphere and with no competition and a whole planet to cover they could transform Mars into a green world warming Mars so that it sustains life is rapid but then the slow process of making the atmosphere breathable for humans and animals starts and that's done by plants although the process will happen naturally if the colonists can't find a quicker way it will take tens of thousands of years this is a philosophical debate many people think the universe has a big sign on it that says do not touch leave it alone was made this way that is not in our purview as human beings to change anything I can respect that view although I disagree with it I think the universe has a big sign on it that says go forth and spread life because when I look around the universe I think life is the most amazing thing we see it is just incredible and we human beings are uniquely positioned to help spread light from this little tiny planet which it seems to be started on beyond and that's our gift Earth's gift to the universe I think is the gift of life this scheme for terraforming Mars is based on 20th century notions of engineering I don't think it is how Mars will actually be terraformed what you have here is a 20th century mind trying to address a 22nd century problem and so I think Mars will be terraformed by the 23rd century not by the 33rd 23rd things that would seem utterly fantastical to us is how it will actually be done but it'll be done we're at a crossroads today we either muster the courage to go or we risk the possibility of stagnation in the kitty the exploration of the solar system and expanding of life through the rest of our solar system and some day beyond is the kind of thing that will keep our civilization going we're explorers by Nature eventually we will go to the Stars the question is when will we start I think a manned Mars mission could happen within 15 years some days I'm very optimistic I think we can do it in 10 maybe 15 years other days I see the all the political things that go into the space program I look back on 230 years we've been bogged down and I and I get more negative about and I say it's going to be another three decades or four decades yeah we'd be surprised if we got to Mars prior to 2025 or 2030 in May of 2018 understanding the various political obstacles that exist in what we need to fight through to get the program started I believe that we will be on Mars by 2020 you have to believe in hope you have to believe in the future there are more and more people coming around to the point of view that a positive future for Humanity requires human expansion to space we will eventually break through the forces of inertia that have been holding this thing back you

  1. We humans are ALMOST CERTAINLY ALONE in the universe.
    This view is popularly rejected, simply because it is deemed an 'unsocial' or 'lonely' one (??).

    The very idea of intelligent life on other planets is based purely on feelings, not fact.
    It is IDIOTIC to think of the universe as some kind of anthropomorphic entity, that would somehow 'feel lonely' for this very reason. It is not.
    I have heard people say that it is ARROGANT to believe that we are alone in the universe. This is seriously what passes for reasoned argument in their view. Such people are blatantly stupid.

  2. Blah blah blah Mars blah blah blah send humans to blah blah 2020 something. I'd bet money that the a-holes saying we should send men to Mars aren't planning to go themselves. They will not be the guinea pigs but they'd gladly send someone else to their death. Blah blah idiots, blah blah blah lisp.

  3. Everyone, God tell us in Genesis that we live under a firmament. Space is a lie. "God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." Genesis1:6. Also, refer to Psalm 104:5 "He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved." Again, Isaiah 11:12 "he shall … gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" God said 4 corners of earth so the globe earth= a lie

  4. Space is fake news. Rainbows Prove A Dome Is Above Your Head. Rainbows don’t exist in an indoor shower. Rainbows are created indoors with reflected light only like a prism or crystal. 🌈

  5. How far away is the stars that they were listening to them hiss? Doesn't sound only travel around 680 or so mph? Would the sound be able to be heard?

  6. When we finally translate the comment from first contact–"Fuck! I thought we started reptilian brothers there. What are these hairy pigs?"

  7. One of the best documentary I have seen. But don't forget, humans can plan and plan, if it's not God's will, nothing can happen!!

  8. If there is any from of life out there, it will be so far away, we could not get there, even at the speed of light. So, how could we ever know? We have no way see that far, with today's technology. And no way to get there.

  9. I have a question:
    Even if we terraform Mars and thicken the atmosphere, how will we keep the atmosphere there when Mars core is solidified and there isn't a magnetic field to keep the atmosphere on the planet?

  10. Yikes

  11. I am so enamored with Michelle that I could gaze into her eyes and listen to her speak for hours 🙂 She's so intelligent and pretty.

  12. “Earth’s gift to the universe is the gift of life” how beautiful. I truly hope to be alive to see mankind become an interplanetary species.

  13. Even if you prove you have an Earth like planet you can't afford to go there rich white man has a way to sticking it to you and jacking up the price. Plus any current person living will be dead by the time humans get a chance to go live or even see an earth like planet. I think you need to focus on fixing your planet then worry about destroying another.

  14. Eventually there will be 7 Trillion plants with human life in the Grand Universe. The Grand Universe is elliptical with 7 Super Universes. There are 700,000 Local Universes with each having eventually approx 10 million planets with human life. Our planet (Urantia) is an experimental planet and 2k years ago received a local Universe Sovereign…Christ. He completed his final bestowal to complete his sovereignty and adjudication by the Ancient of Days of the Prince of Darkness. – The Urantia Book

  15. This NASA / GOING TO THE MARS is all b s this is all cover up the real story
    We have been not only to the Mars but beyond our solar system
    By using the TR3Bs and other ARVs

  16. It's very impossible that earth is the only planet has "life"
    There are so much planets out there that maybe has life.

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