“If we could no longer rely on Earth to provide us with a sustainable and safe place to live – could you lead humanity to Mars… or is there and alternative solution?”
On Wednesday the 24th of July 2013, Luke Reardon, Niam Porter, Courtney Bishop and Kody Stueven-White went to the Victorian Space and Science Centre at Strathmore Secondary College, Strathmore. When we arrived we were put into eight different groups, each group had a different role and there were no more than two students from each school in each group. The seven groups were: Urban Designer, Hydrologist, Atmospheric Specialist, Agriculture/ Food Production, Economist and Psychology.
In our groups we had a facilitator from RMIT to work with us for the first session. We started by comparing Earth to Mars and what we would need to survive on Mars. It was a real challenge to work with students we had never met before, but we had researched so we all thought we made valuable contributions. We had to decide what to take from Earth to Mars and what were essentials to support life, eg energy, oxygen and water. In the second session we had to share ideas and conduct extensive research.
After lunch the day culminated with presentations, a representative from each expert field joined to form a group to present their findings and recommendations to the rest of the audience and the Judging Panel, with PowerPoint’s, speeches and drawings. With only an hour to prepare, each group had to say what they would build, where they would get energy from, how they would get to Mars, where there water would come from, what they would live in and what buildings they would need to survive.
Some suggestions were to live in domes, others, to live underground in the channels formed from volcanic eruptions. Oxygen would need to be produced and contained as there is a third of gravity compared to earth and the atmosphere is thin. Most groups believed water could come from the frozen icecaps, that the best form of energy was nuclear and food production would best be hydroponically grown. The main issues of contention were who control and finance the move, which would be chosen to would go, and how would people maintain a happy lifestyle. I think all groups believed we could live on Mars, but in the end we should continue to work on climate change and protect our resources on earth to prevent the need to go to Mars.
Thanks to Mr Berry and Ms Gerrying who helped us with our ideas before the day. We hope to share our experience with other students and when they realise we actually may need to move to Mars , the urgency of looking after our environment should become our number one priority.
Western Port Secondary College