Escape to Mars: How you'll get there and where you'll live
Escape to Mars: How you'll get there and where you'll live
13:59

Escape to Mars: How you'll get there and where you'll live

Science
[MUSIC] The earth is facing tremendous challenges. And if we don't reverse that trend and earth will become a very dangerous place to live. Marsha is our Mars habitat is a 3D printed house on Mars. So what do you think the future of humanity looks like in space? [SOUND] [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] I've spent months travelling across America, learning about all the ways the apocalypse could kill us. I've been to nuclear bunkers, cutting edge science labs And even braved a tsunami escape pod. Also I could work out how to avoid Armageddon. [NOISE] So what happens when the apocalypse comes and the planet is beyond saving? Well, we might stand a chance if we just pack our bags and leave us behind. There's a new space race underway. This moment represents the beginning of a new space age. You can't go a single day without hearing from some billionaire who wants us to colonize space. Let me show you something. This is an incredible vehicle and it's going to the moon. I think enough people would move to Mars to be part of creating a new planet. Elon Musk wants us to jump on a big rocket and become a multiplanetary species on Mars. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world thinks we should leave the planet and move to floating colonies. Complete with perfect weather and space eagles.>> These are beautiful. People are gonna want to live here.>> If you listen to these guys, we're all gonna be moving to space tomorrow and it's gonna be awesome. We'll be taking vacations in microgravity, Terraforming Mars. But while designing floating worlds for the super rich is all well and good, What does space travel really look like for the rest of us? And most importantly, will the technology that we actually need to travel to space be ready when the apocalypse hits? I've headed to Cape Canaveral on Florida's Space Coast to learn about the future of human spaceflight. [MUSIC] The team at the Kennedy Space Center is working on the Artemis program, the mission that's set to take the first woman and the next man back to the moon. Here in Florida, NASA has opened its doors from one of the last critical tests for the Artemis mission. So it's about 20 to seven in the morning. I've been up since before four. And about three and a half miles that way is where we're gonna see the Ascent Abort-2 flight test take place. In a really short amount of time the sun's rising, all the photographers are here, and I'm pretty damn excited. [MUSIC] Next stop after this Humans on the lunar surface by 2024. But according to Orion program managing market research, the moon is just a stepping stone. Our goal is to go further and further for longer durations. And our goal is to go to Mars initially and eventually take humanity across the solar system. The moon this time is a place where we're going to develop and practice our techniques for going to these other destinations. Getting to Mars might sound like a logical next step after the moon, but it's a whole different ballgame. The journey is a long journey when we go to the moon on the early Orion anonymous missions It takes about four to five days. One way, when we go to Mars it will be a trip duration each way of weeks and months. We will have to have spacecraft to support people just like this and exercising eating just like we do on earth to stay healthy. The spacecraft we're designing has to be more radiation tolerant because we don't have the Earth's atmosphere protecting us, the thermal extremes, because when you're in deep space you don't go around the Earth once every 24 hours. If you're pointed towards the sun, the hot part of the spacecraft is hotter than it is in low Earth orbit The cold part of the spacecraft is colder. [MUSIC] One person who's been to space and knows what those extremes are like is Randy Bresnik. He's a former Marine. He's been to space twice and he's racked up 32 hours of spacewalks outside the ISS. What does it take to live in space long term You can put up a lot of stuff for a short duration. It's like a camping expedition when you did a shuttle mission, long duration, it's different because you're living in the same place. You're working for long times and so it's more of a marathon than a sprint.>> But it's not just about astronauts life support and maintaining your vital signs. There's some basic things that make long term life in space so much harder.>> We found that food has a lot more importance when it's, you know, weeks and months at a time. You know, the variety, the fact that your taste buds kind of change when you're in space. The fact that gravity's pulling the food down as it gets processed and out and can I say station feel hungry Also when we take missions to Mars exercise is going to be really important. Yeah, even when I'm in space, I'm still gonna have to go to the gym. Our bodies are here in one G on the earth and it takes muscles to hold the bones all together and puts, you know, tension on them. So they maintain their density. Great so if I'm not careful, my muscles will waste away and my bones will start decaying. That's even before I think about the cosmic radiation that'll be frying me from the inside or just the crippling loneliness I'll feel having to spend months on end and a metal can with the same people. Thought while I was about to tear up my application for astronauts school, Bresnik gave me some words of hope. I was surprised that when I got to space the first time that I thought, you know, I'm always looked up to astronauts are these super human beings you know, and I didn't know how I got selected, but I get up there and within 24 hours The human body has adapted. Also, I could just reach out if I wanted to go over that or that I do. I didn't have to reach up over here. I could just along there I reached over here. I know exactly how much force to push myself moving in that direction, just float over that way. We're wired for this and we adapt so well. It doesn't take anybody special. Yes, right. Anybody can do it. You just have to have the desire to go put yourself on a rocket and put yourself in a spacesuit and go there. [NOISE] I was starting to feel more confident about becoming an astronaut. 75 feet, [UNKNOWN] looking good. The Apollo team managed to get to the moon with computers that were more basic than the phone I've got in my pocket. Tranquility base here, the Eagle has landed. We live in a day and age where anything is possible. But even if I make it through astronaut school and survive the journey with my muscles intact, there is still one big question. Where the hell am I gonna live? [MUSIC] Thankfully, 1000 miles off the coast from Florida one New York startup is working on a solution. This is Marcia, the 3D printed habitat created by AI space factory. The design came about through NASA's Centennial challenge. The Space Agency asked companies to create a 3D printed space habitat, and Marsha took out first prize. It might look like a giant alien egg, but it's actually being carefully designed to survive the stresses of life in space. And best of all, it can be built in space from materials actually found on Mars. For the team designing Marcia, that was vital. Because when you're on Mars, taking a trip to Home Depot isn't really an option. If you've seen the movie The Martian, if there's a disaster, there's like very little you can do in terms of getting someone to come back. So you need to build something which is much more robust, shock proof able to withstand the elements much more durable. So when we look at a solution for Mars, we go away from the sort of inflatable, deployable structures that you see in sci fi for the moon and you need to start thinking about structures like Marcia which is essentially 3D printed from rock. [MUSIC] So how do you 3D print from rock? Well, AI SpaceFactory designed MARSHA, so it could be made from basalt taken from the Martian surface and mixed with a naturally derived biopolymer called PLA You can make that from plants like corn or sugarcane. mix the two together, heat them up and you've got a material that's as strong as Kevlar. It also has the added bonus of shielding from cosmic radiation. So why the weird egg design? Well, the design not only looks space aged, but it's actually really sturdy. You've probably seen in sci fi movies or artwork like this idea of a Martian city and these are typically like domed structures. Once we started investigating that, we realized that an egg like structure was actually the most structurally efficient form. And if you think about an egg, the egg shell can be very, very thin and still has The right amount of strength. But this shape isn't just more efficient to print. It's also the best way to maximize floor space and the best way to handle Mars's atmosphere. The biggest force we had to design for on Marcia was actually the internal air pressure. Which is an earth like atmosphere. So this wants to expand outwards. So the shape of this envelope needs to contain that difference in the atmospheric pressure. Marcia has a double shell design so it's tough on the outside but still livable on the inside. And every inch of this space is designed for humans. The bottom floor acts kind of like a mudroom. It's separated from the top three floors with an airlock and it's when astronauts can prep for spacewalks or get out of their spacesuits after a tough day on the Martian [UNKNOWN] Above that there's a common space with a kitchen and work areas. The third floor has sleeping quarters, a sanitation pod and a garden. And on the fourth floor there's a recreation and exercise level. On top of that, a massive skylight lets in light that then filters down through the inner shell. So the astronauts inside don't feel like they're trapped in a tiny box millions of miles from home. Even if they kind of are Having spaces in here, which are very we call human centric, like focused around people was as important to factor of the design as say like the technical aspects. So having something that's above ground, filled with natural light. Sensation of space from one floor to the next, I think it helps, just, alleviate that, congestion. [MUSIC]. Back in Florida, sending humans to another planet, was actually starting to feel, one step closer. Three, two. One ignition. [SOUND] I wasn't alive for the Apollo launch, but as NASA blasted off its Orion test rocket, I finally understood the excitement of those first space missions. [BLANK_AUDIO] So, the launch has just happened and I'm still completely blown away. We saw the rocket blast off the launch pad and then Way up in the sky up here. That's where we saw those abort rockets engage. And we saw the little crew capsule kind of blast off and we saw them separate. We see these smoke trails. And then finally it crashed in the ocean. We heard that too was another boom. So we saw this massive splash. This is my first rocket launch and I'm just I'm just amazed. Living on Mars is for the adventurous think there's a certain romance of going to a place that no one has gone before. It will be Really great if we made it so that flying in space is just like getting on an airplane flight. You could decide instead of coming to Florida and going to Disney World and costing your family $50,000 to go for the week, you go Hey kids, you might go to spaces 50,000 bucks. Yeah, I'd be really nice. Working on Mars might still be a while off, but it's exciting to know that we're already taking those early steps to get there. Sure, I won't be able to leave the planet tomorrow. And realistically, I'm probably gonna need a better plan for escaping the apocalypse than just jumping on a rocket and going to Mars. But still it's exciting to know that space travel beyond the space station. It's actually gonna be a reality in my lifetime. For now, I'll just have to watch from back here on Earth. [MUSIC] Up here we saw the actual launch abort system. Kind of. [BLEEP] At the top, you'll see the abort rockets. [BLEEP] Sorry, I don't actually know if it's launching from this launch pad or another one. And there's an alligator in the grass. [BLANK_AUDIO] What is this hose for? Suctioning, no, that's how you pee, for a guy. [LAUGH] [BLANK_AUDIO]

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