When I go to Mars I’m going to turn into a liquid!

Proposal:

Planetary colonization is a topic often discussed and explored in science fiction. The infinite expanse of space has made many dreamers wonder what possibilities lie in wait for us. And with a real world attempt to colonize Mars, the dream looks to be within our grasp. But this is still science fiction. What stops this topic of science fiction from being a reality. From the research that I have done there seems to be no end to the issues.

Science fiction often depicts a number of planets that are habitable. So that should mean that there are plentiful amounts of worlds that can support life. The sad truth to this is that such planets are few and far between. Life is delicate. Finding a planet that can support life is one of the hardest things to do. The fact that Earth can support life is similar to winning a few dozen lotteries. Thankfully we have technology. Our understanding of celestial bodes and their effects on our bodies continues to grow as we learn and explore more detailed discoveries. So how does our real world technology measure up to our science fiction stories? Assuming the story does not involve some ancient alien temple that just does so without explanation, this is done in a number of arduous steps. To be able to walk on the surface of Mars without the use of environmental suits, the planet would first need to support an environment that can support life. Behrokh Khoshnevis is a a professor in engineer at the University of Southern California and has given us his insight in the procedure to colonize Mars. In a CNN report he says that the first step is to establish key infrastructural buildings like landing pads and radiation protection. However the process is too dangerous and strenuous for human astronauts to go out to Mars just to be construction workers. These first few steps will require heavy labor on a remote planet that cannot support life. So the answer to this is to use robots to construct these buildings and facilities. Robots will play a key role in colonizing hostile environments like Mars. Given our current technology each motion the robot takes will have an 8 minute delay. While not helpful, it is something we can manage with our current technology. Despite this, it does mean that we can build infrastructure and other buildings without risking very expensive and skilled astronauts to the dangers and horrors of Mars.

Science fiction has a number of stories taking place on distant planets. An example of this is from the Borderlands series. The majority of the series takes place on the fictional planet of Pandora. There native wildlife have a habit of violently killing everyone who attempted to colonize the planet. So colonizing a planet that can’t support life may be a benefit if you do not have to concern yourself with native wildlife that enjoys new entrees in the local food chain. So the theory and practice of colonization is very interesting. It is the imagination of the infinite expanse of space and exploration. Then setting your roots down where few have traveled before.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/21/tech/nasa-3d-printing-colony-mars/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1022271301244?LI=true

http://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.1541431

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/027311779290108A

http://www.aleph.se/Trans/Tech/Space/mars.html

Reflection:

After the initial proposal I realized I had a glaring problem with it. It doesn’t connect with science fiction. The proposal was just about planetary colonization and had no connection to science fiction. I thought to fix that in this revised proposal. Here’s the problem. I fixed it with a short paragraph. That’s not much of a fix, more like a patch job. It was also brought to my attention that citing my sources is a thing I should be doing so I did it. I drew a lot of this proposal from an interview that CNN did.┬áOriginally I wrote some steps that would lead to the colonization of a planet. I thought it was educated and well thought out. Then I realized that I was not an expert in the field and should probably look into a professional’s opinion on the topic as opposed to my educated guess. Thankfully the CNN interview is with a professor at┬áthe University of Southern California so that was miles better than the thought out nonsense that I came up with because I thought I was clever for some strange reason. So I used that interview to talk about the steps toward colonization. The interview also went into deeper detail about gravity and radiation but I thought that I was going on long enough about the subject and that I needed to move onto how this all relates to science fiction. When it comes to topics about science fiction I cannot find any sources that relate to science fiction and planetary colonization. To that I responded by trying to pull up a colonized planet from a science fiction setting that I have seen in popular media. The problem with that is the limit in my options. I prefer fantasy stories over science fiction so I don’t have that many options that I can think of. The only science fiction games I can think of are ones that my sister roped me into playing. The only two science fiction games that my sister has managed to drag me into and have something to do with planetary colonization is the┬áBorderlands series and Destiny. The difference between the two is that Borderlands starts as a planet that can support life and involve colonists being destroyed and Destiny has this alien orb thing that makes all planets in the Milky Way a habitat that can support life.

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