One of the greatest future achievements for humans will be the colonizing of Mars. There will be extreme challenges in doing this but with continued human ingenuity it will be done over the next several hundred years. One factor that contributes to the challenge of colonizing Mars is the extreme climate. Below are several factors that make living on the surface of Mars impractical without a sheltered structure.

1. Very little oxygen and air- the air contains very little oxygen and the air that is present is very thin

2. Limited liquid water- the temperature is too low for liquid water on the surface and the very low pressure contributes to very rapid evaporation

3. Very cold- Mars is further from the sun thus not as much solar energy reaches the planet

4. Low gravity- this can lead to muscle atrophy and other health problems

5. No ozone layer- dangerous wavelengths of UV radiation bombard the planet

These 5 problems above can be overcome by living in a shelter that includes adequate use and conservation of air and water while also having temperature control and a radiation protection dome. Research into the best exercise in a lower gravity environment and the body type(s) that would best acclimate to lower gravity would need to be done. Additional problems with colonizing Mars include:

1. The cost of the technology and research

2. Developing a propulsion system that decreases travel time from Earth to Mars

3. Living in the zero gravity environment for an extended period of time during the journey from Earth to Mars and the background radiation that is present in space

With all these problems, the question that can be asked now is even if humans can colonize Mars then what is the incentive to colonize Mars? Below are a few reasons why it will be important to colonize Mars.

1. Being a multi-planet species will give humans more land to operate from and will increase the available resources that humans have access to

2. It can prove that colonizing another planet is possible and with the development and progress of this technology, other planets/moons in the solar system can be colonized

3. Helps increase scientific knowledge

4. It would be a new milestone in the advancement of human achievement

5. It gives humans a backup place to continue the species from in case Earth is catastrophically impacted such as from a massive asteroid impact. Earth could then be resettled once the effects of the catastrophe wear off. Thus, colonizing Mars makes it less likely humans will go extinct.

6. It has the potential to help unite the human species due to having a common cause.