Will Human Colonists Ruin Mars?

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In the last one hundred years humanity has managed to ruin several ecosystems due to increased pollution levels. From massive oil spills to leaving plastic on beaches, the human influence upon nature seems to be mostly negative.

As technology develops humans will be able to colonize other planets at some point in the future. An obvious question appears: if we manage to successfully colonize Mars what will stop us from ruing yet another planet?

Since the resources will be scarce, wasting them will be almost impossible in the early days of the colony. Transporting large cargos across such a large distance will be a very costly activity, forcing the early colonists to prioritize what they need and even improvise in some cases. It is estimated that a single one-way trip could take up to 11 months.

In order to save materials it is likely that everything will be recycled until additional resources can be obtained.

NASA has sent several rovers on the planet in order to map important objectives and track down a suitable landing zone for a future mission. The latest one, InSight, is hard at work as it scans the inside of the planet in order to collect valuable data about the evolution of the planet.

The main advantage is that the colonists will be able to choose if they want to exploit the resources that are available or recycle in order to minimize any negative damage that can be caused by mining and other invasive activities.

One of the hardest tasks implies the terraforming of the planet in order to make it habitable. Reaching a sensible balance between a friendly environments and avoiding a new global warming is already thought to be a serious challenge.

Many hope that the colonists will not replicate the wasteful attitude that can be encountered all over the world. It is important to learn from our mistakes and keep the Red Planet both habitable and clean.