Should humans colonize Mars?

From mapping the stars to exploring Pluto, space exploration has always fascinated us. Lately, Mars has been the focus of several new exploration initiatives, with campaigns for colonization from the Mars One project, SpaceX, and several governments around the world. Technology has yet to be invented to build human colonies on Mars, but that doesn’t stop its allure. Should we launch a mission to the red planet?

investigate

When Will Humans Visit Mars? This Physicist Says There Are 'Real Plans' For The 2030s

Additional resources to think about

The Amazing Cloud Cities We Could Build on Venus
Space scientists are pouring much time and effort into colonizing Mars. But could we also live in the atmosphere of Venus? BBC Future investigates.

Is It Moral To Explore, And Colonize, Mars?
What if we reach the point where large-scale human habitation of Mars becomes possible? Do we have a right to change a planet where we did not evolve?

A New Race for Space
This PBS NewsHour video from the Student Reporting Labs discusses a company's vision for colonizing Mars.

Is Life on Mars a Possibility?
On this segment of SciTech Now, Hari talks to Dave Mosher about the possibilities of colonizing the red planet.

Should we colonize Venus instead of Mars?
This episode of PBS Space Time asks if Mars is the best non-Earth planet for humans to live.

Building a Marsbase is a Horrible Idea: Let's do it!
Humans love to explore. Strangely enough even horrible places – like Mars. This video from Kurzgesagt discusses how building a Mars base could work and how insanely nerve-wracking exactly it would be.

Could we actually live on Mars?
In this TEDEd lesson, Mari Foroutan details the features of Mars that are remarkably similar to those of Earth — and those that can only be found on the red planet.

The Surprising Ways Mars is Hostile to Life
Physics Girl talks to planetary geologists to find out if we really could live on Mars.

The Next Great Moon Race
This video from The Good Stuff talks about how astro-robotics might be the future of space exploration.

Miles of Water Found on Mars. Could It Support Life?
This article from NOVA documents the extraordinary discovery of water on Mars and what it means for future humans visiting the planet.

contemplate

Who created this message?

  • What kind of “text” is it?
  • How similar or different is it to others of the same genre?
  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?

 

What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)? 
  • What’s the emotional appeal?
  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • What's the emotional appeal? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • How many other interpretations could there be?
  • How could we hear about them?
  • How can you explain the different responses?

What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

  • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with?
  • What ideas or perspectives are left out?
  • How would you find what’s missing?
  • What judgments or statements are made about how we treat other people?

 

Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?

5 Key Questions of Media Literacy used with permission from the Center for Media Literacy.
Copyright 2002-2021, Center for Media Literacy, www.medialit.com

debate

Should humans colonize Mars?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How was your Thinkalong experience?

We actively use feedback to provide better resources to students and educators, so please take 1 minute to provide feedback and help us improve.