Photo by Sam Wermut on Unsplash

Because none of the others are even remotely plausible.

  • Mercury - far too close to the sun - far too much solar radiation - very long continuous days and nights.
  • Venus - air pressure so high that it would crush a typical submarine hull. It rains acid - dense cloud cover 24/7.
  • Earth - a great place to colonize - but sadly, it’s already taken!
  • Mars - pretty much a frozen wasteland - gravity is marginal - air pressure way too low - not as much sunlight as we’d like - no magnetic field, so too much solar radiation - but better than any of the other options.
  • Jupiter - it’s a gas giant - it’s impossible.
  • Saturn - ditto.
  • Uranus - crazy axial tilt makes for wildly crazy day/night cycles, on top of being a gas giant. The coldest planetary atmosphere in the solar system. So…NO.
  • Neptune - another gas giant.
  • …and anything beyond would be stupidly cold and dark.

    So among the planets - Mars is the ONLY one we could possibly visit. Arguably, we might survive in the upper atmosphere of Venus - but that’s not a sustainable thing. That leaves moons and dwarf planets:
  • Neither Mercury nor Venus have moons.
  • Earth’s moon has no atmosphere and 14-days of unprotected sunshine followed by 14 days of darkness - some water - but not enough to sustain a large, prolonged human presence. Lots of solar radiation.
  • Ceres (in the asteroid belt) has way too little gravity and no atmosphere - but it has more water and less solar radiation than our Moon.
  • Some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn look more promising - but they are insanely cold and get radiation doses from their mother planets too.
  • Everywhere else is just too far and too cold.
So, basically.. Mars or nowhere.


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