The main reason is that Mars is a very unhealthy place, not just for humans but for all life. Forget the temperature extremes. The biggest problem with Mars for maintaining life is that it has almost no protection against radiation. It has no iron core like Earth and thus it does not have the magnetic field that protects humans from cosmic rays and solar mass ejections.
Read this article for more information.
Six feet of soil can shield against cosmic rays as can a few centimeters of water. Since hauling water to Mars hardly seems practical, unless an ample water supply is found on Mars, the "explorers" will have to be satisfied with living and exploring under the surface.
Also, the human body is so adapted to our level of gravity that almost absent gravity (as in the space station) damages bone density. In a large space craft that rotates, you can use centrifugal force to simulate gravity, but how do you do that on the surface of Mars? Not exactly a vacation and no place anyone would want to live for long.
Terraforming isn't practical unless there's a way to give the planet a magnetic field. Otherwise, the atmosphere will simply be lost to space.
What do you think?
Yeah, only they were wrong.
How can you, in the current era of psychosocial depression, - as you can easily seen through economics - DARE to suggest that the future isn't an biblical apocalyptic hell?!
You aren't selling your arguments well enough and will immediately be countered by pessimists.
Then you'll be in good company, won't you?
And the situation isn't being helped much by the greenies, who seemingly object to any and every solution except ones that are unacceptable to the public. And of course, they are largely right: almost any solution that's helpful will present major problems once scaled up to any helpful degree.
In a nutshell, barring some unforseeable new source of power and plastics, we are screwed, blued, and tatooed.
Amen, bruthah! Although I do believe it is likely we will adapt in ways we can't really imagine right now.
Hah, I resemble that remark!
I am mostly, along with my family, Greenies. I quess the biggest difference I have with most Greenies, is that I am not very 'prissy white light', or 'all white ponies and little bunnies' about it. I have seen some rather icky and disrespective human behaviors against the environment, but I also know that 'nature' can sometimes bounch back, with claws!
'Humans' survived the Ice ages, a possible major die off about 75000 years ago, and numerous other near hits on viability, and we are still here! Of course our history is much shorter than the dinosaurs, which were very successful, up till the possible effect of the asteroid collision, and a long list of possible other 'weeding' events. There is some indication that few dinosaurs actually survived an additional 5 million years after the collision, with 'birds' and other reptiles making it to the present.
I wonder if we are beginning to see the affects of enviromental change on the human population, but it seems more likely that social/tech. adaptations will come first and issolate our biology from fast selection.
I plan on trying to make it till 2054, but I also have a growing list of physical complaints. I don't have any beach front property, yet..;p)
You should perhaps stop watching Mad Max, Unseen, and rather focus on previous literature such as hunger, war and peace, or the process to cheer you up. ;)
I think there's little economic reason for a permanent base on Mars. Why take a long expensive trip through space just to land on another planet, one that isn't even habitable? However, there are plenty economic reasons for permanent space habitats. Zero-G manufacturing is becoming more important, and if we get into extra-terrestrial mining, it will be easier to sift through asteroids. I could see a base on Ceres sooner than Mars.
Don't get me wrong. I do think that eventually we will visit Mars, do some tests, then scamper back home. I won't be around, but I'd be surprised if we do much more than that, ever. Space is a very hostile and dangerous place. It's about as likely that we'd send a manned expedition to the center of Earth.
I think it's clear we're going to continue to get photos showing that Mars looks like the desert Southwest. And it has ice. Wow. If we start running out of water here on Earth, we know where to go.
That money could have been spent to do research to end cancer or diabetes or to develop a more efficient battery-powered automobile. It could be used to feed potbellied starving children in African or Middle Eastern refugee camps.
Otherwise, it's probably a dead end. Except if you like desert photography.
There's already tons of money being spent on researching cancer and diabetes and thousands of other things that make us ill. There is already tons of money being spent on developing more efficient technologies. We already throw money at the poor and starving of our world and have found money isn't the magical solution to this ongoing problem. In fact money isn't the solution to any of our problems, often it's an obstacle.
We already sent people to the moon; we still send people into space; the basics behind the technology for a longer range manned mission is there. All we need are some people with the will and enough people willing to back it. I think with a population of 7 billion there is bound to be people who are willing to contribute in such an endeavor. In the end it isn't typically the destination that is the most important, it's the journey and just think of all the things we could learn from this sort of journey.
@Becca - I couldn't agree more - as I said earlier, the goal isn't in getting there, it's in the going. The technology that came out of the moon landing, represents a billion-dollar industry here on earth today. Those few pounds of moon rocks were not our only reward for the journey.