ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Challenges of Colonizing Mars

Updated on April 24, 2020
Carolyn M Fields profile image

Carolyn Fields is a lifelong learner, musician, author, world traveler, truth enthusiast, and all-around bon vivant.


It's Inevitable

Just as we must first learn to walk before we can run, we must first explore and inhabit other planets in our own solar system before we can hope to travel to distant galaxies. Successfully colonizing Mars is the first logical step in that quest, and it is as inevitable as the exploration of the New World by early European explorers.

To some, human habitation of Mars may seem like a flight of fancy. However, plans for the first human settlement on Mars are already underway. Perhaps due to humanity’s enduring fascination with space exploration, considerable interest in the project has been generated. There was even a plan for a Reality TV event that would depict the entire process, from the selection of astronauts to their eventual settlement on Mars. Unfortunately, they went bankrupt. But it's still interesting that it went as far as it did.

Initial Colonization

The initial colonization will be very risky, and involve a lifetime commitment for those special few who are courageous enough to make the attempt. Return from the Red Planet, at least in the early years, will be impossible. Those selected to go will live out their lives in their new home. Add to that the lack of privacy and intense media attention, and it’s easy to see how crucial crew selection will be. Studies on the stresses that a Mars crew would face have revealed a wide range of adverse reactions that will need to be addressed.

Before the first humans arrive, extensive preparations will need to be made. Communications equipment will need to be sent to Mars and deployed in advance. Supplies will need to be pre-positioned. Robotically built habitats will need to be constructed in advance, and tested for sustainability. In short, years of advance preparation will be required before the first humans can set foot on Mars.

Intrepid Expeditions

Once people do successfully land on Mars, life for these bold explorers will be an unparalleled adventure. Even the most intrepid expeditions on Earth can’t compare with this undertaking. Every prior colonization that people have undertaken has involved the possibility of return home, and the comforts of breathable air and potable water. Nothing can be taken for granted on this distant, harsh planet.

The true test for creating a thriving colony on Mars will be in harnessing indigenous resources and becoming self-sustainable. Technologies that will enable this transformation have yet to be invented. However, just as with every prior new frontier, the innate human drive to survive and overcome obstacles will undoubtedly prevail. It’s only a matter of time.

Being a Colonist

As for me, I’m too old to contemplate a trip to Mars. That is unless medical technology catches up with the human spirit, and my consciousness can be transplanted into an android of some sort. In that case, I’d be one of the first to sign up for the adventure. Having been raised on Star Trek, I can’t think of a more exciting adventure to undertake. It would definitely kick my travel game up several levels.

However, if that situation actually took place, then I’m also certain that there would be competition to sign up as an early colonist. What would the criteria be, if physical limitations were no longer an issue? Perhaps it’s a moot point, since those with money could easily buy their way to the head of the line. These are all questions I have late at night, as I drift off to sleep.

Of course, we’ll all need to survive the COVID-19 pandemic first. Which makes me question whether or not humanity is really ready for such an undertaking. But it’s never stopped us before. So, what do you say? Care to join me on Mars? Something better to think about than how much toilet paper I have in the closet.


Franz, P. (February 24, 2013). Astronauts headed to Mars face psychological challenges. In Digital Journal. Retrieved February 21, 2013, from

Jha, A. (September 3, 2012). Human colonization of Mars likely in 2023. In Digital Journal. Retrieved February 21, 2013, from

Whyte, C. (June 5, 2012). Dutch startup plans to colonize Mars by 2023. In International Science Times. Retrieved February 21, 2013, from

When do you think humans will colonize Mars?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Carolyn Fields


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)