This free online course will teach you how to survive on Mars
Scientists around the world are determined to make Mars our next great frontier, but if there’s even a chance of colonizing the Red Planet, we’ll have to figure out how to live there for a long time.
And when I say “we” I mean you too, because an Australian university is about to launch a free online course which will teach even those with no scientific training how to survive on the surface of Mars.
Offered by Monash University, the course is called “How to Survive on Mars: The Science Behind Human Exploration of Mars”and will take four weeks, with weekly 3-hour classes to be taken online.
“Mars has captured the human imagination since the earliest civilizations. It’s the most explored planet in the solar system, and that’s unlikely to change. the course description reads. “Getting to Mars is relatively easy, surviving on Mars will be the real challenge.”
The course was developed by astrophysicist Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway and chemist Tina Overton, who were inspired by Andy Weir’s novel, The Martian.
“We liked that the scientists were treated as problem solvers. Not like other space movies with egos and aliens everywhere,” Lazendic-Galloway told Ariel Bogle at Mashable. “This story actually showed what science is – not just boring facts and formulas, but real problem-solving skills.”
So if you were to sign up, what would you learn?
Well, most of the class will be based on teaching the basic scientific methods used to overcome everyday problems in a harsh environment like Mars, such as learning how to create water or oxygen – two things you will definitely need on Mars – in an environment of laboratory.
Class descriptions have yet to be released, and it’s unclear at this point how students will be tested on their knowledge, but researchers say the most important aspect to survive on Mars going to be a knowledge of aspects of all scientific disciplines.
“Science is interdisciplinary, not just chemistry, not just astronomy, and not just physics. And on Mars you’ll have to know a bit of everything,” he added. Lazendic-Galloway told Mashable. “The reason we wanted her to survive is that we know the early colonies will really fight for their survival.”
While the class might seem a bit premature considering we’re not even close to landing humans on Mars yet, it’s vital to be prepared for what we might face there if we intend to. live there in the future.
In anticipation of possible human exploration on the Red Planet, SpaceX plans to send a spacecraft to Mars by 2018. Whether or not that deadline materializes remains to be seen, but things look promising.
“People think we can’t do these things. That we can’t go back to the moon again – it’s too hard and too expensive. It can be done, it will be done,” he added. says Lazendic-Galloway.
So far, more than 1,500 people have registered for the course, which is expected to start at the end of October.