Moon or Mars? Choosing humanity’s new home

Another world: The Moon is almost 240,000 miles away from Earth. Mars is just under 34 million miles away.

Would you rather live on Mars or the Moon? Many scientists dream that one day in the future humans will leave Earth and set up colonies in space. Where should we go?

What’s happening

The Mars Society is running a contest to find the best plan for a human colony on Mars. The colony would need houses, clothing, food and power.

We often think of Mars as a dead, dry planet. Now, scientists know there are salty lakes under its surface. Humans could use this water to survive on Mars.

Find out more

Life on Mars would not be easy. The air on the planet is mostly made up of gases that are poisonous to humans.

Mars is not the only place we could live. In August, pools of ice were found on the Moon. Humans could melt the ice into water to drink.

However, there are downsides there too. The Moon has very low gravity. It also does not have an atmosphere, so there would be nothing to protect us from the hot Sun.

Would you rather live on Mars or the Moon?

Some say…

We should move to Mars. It has liquid water and the days are the same length as Earth. Besides, the red planet is bigger and more exciting than the Moon. There might even be alien life!

Others think…

The Moon is better! It is a lot closer, so it would be easier to send people and objects in rockets. We know it is possible because we have already landed there.

You Decide

  1. Would you like to visit outer space?

Activities

  1. Design your own plan for a human colony on Mars. Include your ideas for what people would eat, drink and how they would travel around the planet. Draw what you think a house on Mars would look like.

Some People Say...

“The guys who walk on Mars are going to be historic.”

Buzz Aldrin

What do you think?

Word Watch

Colony
A town for people who have all left the same country or planet to go and live somewhere else.
Surface
The outside layer.
Survive
To stay alive.
Poisonous
Dangerous for your body.
Downsides
Bad results or disadvantages.
Gravity.
The force that keeps everything on Earth stuck to the floor.
Atmosphere
A layer of gases around the surface of a planet.

Subjects

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