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S&T’s Peer to Peer

Abstract

This research focuses on the possibility of farming and water collection on Mars to determine if enough food and water can be gathered to support sustained human life. The inspiration for this comes from the plans to put a human on Mars and create a sustained colony, such as Mars One. This colony can become the basis for a multi-planetary civilization that will substantially reduce future overcrowding problems (the population in 2050 is projected to be 11 billion and is expected to continue to grow exponentially) and promote additional research on space travel that can aid in the reduction of the space debris that will eventually cover the planet if its current growth rate is left untouched. The problems that arise in building a colony on another planet are food and water collection. On Mars specifically, the soil is dry compared to that of Earth and there are no nitrogen fixing bacteria that are necessary for plant growth, making it very hostile to crops. Additionally, liquid water is not existent the planet's surface, and the planet's existing water is difficult to access and is highly contaminated In order to properly assess sustained human survival on Mars, it must first be determined whether farming and the collection of pure water on Mars is possible under the given conditions. If food and pure water can be obtained on Mars, it is then necessary to determine if enough food and water can be acquired to support sustained human life. The research conducted for this paper consisted heavily on lab reports and write ups on studies about water collection methods, farming methods, water purification, and Martian soil composition with a few articles from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Martian ice and farming off of Earth.

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