17 June 2022 in Science & Technology


Although more than half a century has passed since American astronaut Neil Armstrong placed the first human foot on the Moon, our satellite has gone out of fashion. Today, the dream of scientists and industrialists is to go much further afield – to the Red Planet, from which mechanical probes send us photos and analyses of soil samples. The more data we analyse, the more likely it seems that Mars, millions of years ago, had an atmosphere, which evaporated due to the greater distance from the Sun and the smaller circumference of that planet, which cooled the core much faster than the Earth is doing and lacks the magnetic forces that, on the Blue Planet, allow the atmosphere to create and defend life.

The conquest of Mars has suddenly become a real possibility, and there are detailed plans and cost calculations to achieve it. Some NASA and ESA scientists claim that it could happen in this century, and some industrialists and billionaires have set out to compete with the space agencies of the nation states. One cannot talk about such a subject without dwelling on the romantic value of this idea: a new Earth to conquer at a time when our home planet is about to be destroyed by neglect and the treacherous hand of man. After years in which, for science fiction, Mars represented an ancient Earth, the seat of an interstellar Saturnia Regni myth, today it presents human despair with a new dream, a new frontier to conquer. But one must understand how, and at what price.

Water and life on Mars

ExoMars – ESA’s mother spacecraft[1]

The first star catalogue is believed to have been compiled in Babylon in the 18th century B.C., during the reign of Hammurabi. The authors of this work paid special attention to the five inhabitants of the night sky that moved in our field of vision. More than a thousand years later, the Greeks called these wandering celestial bodies, πλανηται; later the term entered Latin (plural: planetae, singular: planeta) and then other European languages. One of the planets has a distinct reddish hue, hence many peoples call it Red or Fire[2].

Mars is visible to the naked eye from Earth and is inferior in brightness only to Jupiter, Venus, the Moon and the Sun. The minimum distance from Mars to Earth is 55.76 million km (when the Earth is exactly between the Sun and Mars), and the maximum is 401 million km (when the Sun is exactly between the Earth and Mars)[3]. A year on Mars lasts 687 days, divided into seasons. In summer, the daytime temperature reaches +30°C, while in winter it drops to -140°C, well below the freezing point of carbon dioxide[4].

Until the automated interplanetary mission Mariner 4, which landed on Mars in 1965, researchers believed that there was water in a liquid state on its surface. This belief was based on the observation of periodic changes in light and dark areas, especially in the polar latitudes, which were similar to continents and seas. The long dark lines on the surface of Mars were interpreted as irrigation channels. It was later shown that most of these dark lines are an optical illusion[5].

The search for water is important to understand whether the preconditions for life exist. Due to the low pressure, water (without impurities that lower the freezing point) cannot exist in the liquid state on most (about 70 per cent) of the surface of Mars. The planet’s low temperature and its thin atmosphere (100 times thinner than Earth’s) make it possible for water to exist in only two forms: solid ice and gaseous vapour[6].

The current development of electromagnetic detection methods will make it possible to determine the presence or absence of liquid water under the icy envelope. Meanwhile, the considerable depth of such horizons makes them inaccessible to direct research. However, this search plays a key role in the search for life. Only sub-freezing water has maintained conditions for life throughout Mars’ history, regardless of radical changes in conditions on the surface[7] – even though evidence suggests that the water on Mars’ surface is too salty and acidic to support permanent terrestrial-type life[8].

Painting of a possible manned outpost on Mars, which NASA says will be ready by 2030[9]

At the same time, geological data collected by the Spirit and Opportunity rovers suggest that, in the very distant past, water covered much of Mars’ surface. Observations over the past decade have revealed faint geyser activity in some places on its surface[10]. According to scientist Michael Malin, “these deposits suggest that at some places and times on present-day Mars, liquid water emerges from the subsurface and flows briefly down the slopes. This possibility raises questions about how water would remain molten beneath the soil, how it would spread, and whether there is a life-supporting wet habitat beneath the soil. Future missions could provide the answers” [11].

The Red Planet has proven to be a tough nut for space exploration. From 1960 to 2007, 38 spacecraft went to Mars: 19 from the US, 17 from the USSR and Russia, one from Europe and one from Japan. Only NASA projects have been successful, and not all of them[12]. Nevertheless, Mars is the most studied planet after Earth. As of 2021, the Mars orbiting research constellation has eight operational spacecraft: (a) NASA’s Mars Odyssey[13]; (b) ESA European Space Agency’s Mars Express[14]; (c) NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – which has already been in orbit for 16 years[15]; (d) NASA’s MAVEN, which studies the solar activity and atmosphere of Mars[16]; (e) Mars Orbiter Mission – or Mangalyaan, which means ‘Martian ship’ in Sanskrit[17], of the ISRO Indian Space Research Organisation[18]; f) ESA’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter – the mothership probe that brought the first European Schiaparelli lander[19] (which unfortunately crashed at 300km/h into the Martian soil[20]) to Mars[21]; g) Al Amal of the Emirates UAESA (meaning ‘hope’), which was conceived, built and tested in America but launched from Japan[22]: entered Mars orbit in February 2021, later to become an artificial satellite that will study the Martian atmosphere[23]; h) and the orbiter of the Chinese mission Tianwen-1 (‘Questions for Heaven’), in orbit since February 2021[24].

The surface of Mars is currently explored by three rovers: NASA’s Curiosity , NASA’s Perseverance[25], which has succeeded in extracting oxygen from CO2 and has a very interesting mini-rover Ingenuity[26], and China’s Zhurong ( ancient god of fire[27]), which hibernated on 18 May 2022 notwithstanding the low temperatures of the Martian winter[28]. The landing module of NASA’s InSight mission (the stationary chemical-physical analysis and geodesy station) is stationary on the surface with its dead batteries covered in red dust that prevents it from charging with solar energy[29]. In April 2022, NASA extended the missions of eight of its spacecraft for a further three years to learn more about the solar system and fly beyond its boundaries. One of these, OSIRIS-Rex, will remain on mission for another nine years[30].

At the end of this decade, a joint operation between NASA and ESA is planned[31], consisting of three launches to collect rock and dust samples from the surface of Mars and bring them back to Earth (Mars Sample Return Campaign)[32]. The first phase – the launch and landing of NASA’s latest-generation rover, Perseverance – has already taken place in February 2021[33]. Its main objective is to search for traces of life in the present and past of the red planet. ESA is tasked with building a rover and orbiter to return to base and launch them in 2028, but this is still a project in the development phase[34]. At the conference of the states participating in ESA, in Seville, it was announced that Italy will be responsible for the construction of a large part of the Earth Return Orbiter (which will be assembled and prepared for launch in the Turin factories of Thales Alenia Space Italia) with an order of 129 million euros[35]. There is a growing Chinese presence, which has built a series of impressive space infrastructures: the Zhongguancun space base is the largest in the world, and so is the Wenchang launch base’, in addition to impressive investments in the training of scientists and aerospace engineers. In this race, Europe is seriously lagging behind.

Will man go to Mars?

SpaceMen: Billionaires Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos[36]

On 17 May 2022, NASA declared its intention to send men to Mars on its first manned mission as early as the late 2030s (or early 2040s). The mission will last 30 days and there will be four people on board. Given the distance between Earth and Mars, the journey, round trip, would take about 500 days[37]. NASA has identified 50 exploration objectives, divided into four categories: transportation and habitability; infrastructure on the Moon and Mars; ground and airborne operations; and scientific experimentation[38]. The agency also asked the public for feedback: proposals are being accepted until 3 June – and the authors of the best ideas will take part in a NASA workshop this summer[39].

The mission plan is therefore still in the early stages and could change considerably. So far, NASA plans to use a spacecraft to ferry the crew to the Red Planet, using a hybrid rocket (powered by both chemical and electric propulsion), carrying four people, two of whom will descend to the surface[40]. Lack of gravity will be a serious problem: the astronauts will arrive on the Red Planet after months of microgravity and will have to go through a considerable recovery process, including operating in the partial gravity of Mars, which is about one-third that of Earth. NASA suggests housing the crew in a pressurised rover during the mission[41].

About 25 tonnes of supplies and hardware await the crew on Mars, delivered from a previous robotic mission. These supplies would include an ascent vehicle for the crew, already refuelled and ready to go for the astronauts to leave Mars and return to orbit around the planet. Now the agency is focused on launching the unmanned Artemis 1 mission[42] to prepare for astronaut missions to the Moon in the next decade: according to NASA, work on the Moon is essential to prepare for going to Mars[43].

Europe remains a few steps behind. One of ESA’s missions, ExoMars 2022 (already postponed in 2018 and 2020 due to technical problems[44]) is delayed due to the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia. The mission is to bring a sophisticated rover, with a laboratory and a very valuable drill, capable of going two metres deep, where no one has been able to go so far, in order to carry out physico-chemical analyses of the soil of Mars. It cost 1,300 million euro (almost half of which was paid for by Italy, which is its main supporter), and Russia was to have the carrier rocket, the platform for the Mars rover and the super-parachute. But the Russian agency Roscosmos is no longer cooperating with ESA[45], and announces that it will send its own mission to Mars[46].

There is a lack of funds – lots of them and now, which is why the protagonists in the race to Mars are elsewhere: the United States, Russia and China, but also new players such as India, which ranks fourth globally in terms of investment in relation to GDP after Moscow, Washington and Paris[47]. Because space is not just a matter of blazon. At an aggregate level, Europe has earmarked $11.48 billion for 2021, but the challenge is overwhelmingly won by the United States with $43.01 billion, four times as much. It is followed by China, Russia, Japan and, once again, India[48]. The solution is the EUR 1 billion ‘Cassini Fund’, introduced in January this year for aerospace companies that have difficulty accessing loans and that promise to advance ESA’s technological development[49]. The Cassini Fund is part of a broader programme to strengthen the European Union’s role in the space economy[50].

Starship on the SpaceX launch pad at Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas[51]

But it is not only state agencies that dream of Mars: South African billionaire Elon Musk is preparing to colonise the Red Planet with his SpaceX and a new Starship mega rocket[52]. Although he considers it a ‘very dangerous’ journey and that ‘a bunch of people might die at the beginning’, the trip will also be accessible, according to him, to ordinary people[53]. His idea is that the future of the human species depends on the ability to colonise other planets, and that in order to do so, much larger and more powerful spaceships than the current ones are needed to transport people, goods and materials to Mars[54].

First, Musk will take NASA astronauts to the Moon: in April 2021, NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to use the Starship in the Artemis mission to take astronauts from lunar orbit to the Moon’s surface. The contract is a triumph for Musk. One of the competitors for the NASA lunar contract was Blue Origin, created by Jeff Bezos of Amazon[55]. Bezos filed a lawsuit against NASA, but lost[56]. Nevertheless, Musk is a latecomer: he believed he would launch the rocket on an experimental journey to Mars in 2022, and with people on board a couple of years later. The design has been reworked, the spacecraft redesigned and the launch moved… perhaps by the end of 2022. Musk is very coy about this[57]. In March, he announced on Twitter that man will finally be able to set foot on Mars in 2029, exactly 60 years after the first lunar landing in 1969[58], and expressed the wish to ‘die on Mars, but not on impact’: to be part of a mission and live up there[59].

Musk is not the only one who dreams of building a city on Mars … Alfredo Muñoz, with his architecture firm Abiboo, wants to build Nüwa, the first self-sufficient and sustainable city on Mars in 2054 – built vertically with materials found on the Red Planet and embedded in the side of a cliff. The city will be able to accommodate up to 250,000, will include living and working facilities, green areas and urban gardens, high-speed lifts connecting various levels and trains, buses, train stations and the space airport[60]. Unbelievable!

Mining exploitation

The Nüwa project[61]

The search for mineral resources does not stop, and market pressure has increased during the pandemic. Attempts to tackle global warming include the transition to a carbon-neutral economy through the massive introduction of electric vehicles (with a stop on the sale of petrol, diesel and LPG cars from 2035, approved by the European Parliament a few days ago[62]) and investments in renewable energy. To achieve this would require large quantities of battery metals (lithium, cobalt and nickel), critical minerals (copper) and rare earth elements: those made up of 17 elements, including lanthanum, neodymium and yttrium (most of which are mined in China at great environmental cost) [63].

After the earth and the seabed[64], capitalism raises its eyes to the stars. In the crosshairs are the existing mineral resources in space, as The Conversation magazine writes: ‘The need for a carbon-neutral economy requires an increase in the supply of non-renewable natural resources, such as battery metals. This forms the basis for a new space race in which nations and the private sector participate[65].

Since 1967, the Outer Space Treaty[66] has prevented signatory states from claiming any resources discovered in space as they are considered ‘common heritage of mankind’: no country can therefore consider a piece of lunar or Martian territory as its own and start exploiting it. Article 2 of the treaty states, in fact, that ‘outer space shall not be subject to national appropriation either by claiming sovereignty over it, or by occupying it, or by any other means’[67]. Washington signed the treaty, but 48 years later changed its mind and, in May 2015, passed the SPACE Act of 2015[68], countersigned by President Obama[69]. This explicitly allows citizens and industries to ‘engage in the exploration and commercial exploitation of space resources’, including water and minerals. The right does not extend to extraterrestrial life: life forms cannot be commercially exploited[70].

The law was backed by Richard Branson, a shareholder of Planetary Resources Inc Seattle[71], an ‘asteroid mining company’ that set out to identify, extract and process resources from near-Earth asteroids. Signing with him are the heads of Google, film director James Cameron and other famous and powerful people[72]. Consequently, Branson is likely to be one of the first Britons to profit from commercial asteroid mining in the United States[73].

There are recent efforts by lobbyists to frame space resources within a new ownership regime. The result: the Artemis Arrangements (October 2020), which to date already have the support of 19 nations[74] (but not Russia and China) and which states that ‘the ability to extract and utilise resources on the Moon, Mars, and asteroids will be essential to support space exploration and development in a safe and sustainable manner. The Artemis Agreements reinforce the fact that the extraction and use of space resources can and will take place under the auspices of the Outer Space Treaty’[75].

The surface of the Moon, completely covered in precious minerals[76]

Like the United States, Luxembourg (making a priority of space resources and creating partnerships with space agencies around the world)[77], the United Arab Emirates and Japan have ratified a law granting national companies permission to explore, mine and utilise space mineral resources[78]. The nature of China’s space ambitions is not easy to decipher, but mining and lunar exploration are clearly part of the strategy[79]. According to experts, this wave of decisions by individual states is the largest privatisation in history[80].

Asteroid mining’ is beginning to gain momentum: in addition to the potential extraction of titanium, nickel, cobalt and other minerals, oxygen and nitrogen are planned. This involves the exploitation of the frozen water available in large quantities in space. This would allow the creation of hydrogen fuel deposits in artificial satellites and human colony bases, which are indispensable for expanding the galactic zone of influence[81].

In America, the first postgraduate ‘Space Resources’ courses on the extraction and use of rare and valuable materials, including water, in space started in August 2018[82]. Water is the most important thing there is, from it it is possible to extract two fundamental fuels: hydrogen and oxygen. It makes it possible to support human and technological activities, such as metalworking or producing rocket propellant, facilitating refuelling in space[83]. Bringing it from Earth is expensive (in 2018, launching a kilogram of material into low Earth orbit cost about A$3,645[84]), so finding ways to extract it in space is crucial[85].

In any case, the enormous costs of these projects would be offset by the resources that could be obtained without any restrictions, as was somewhat the case when territories in America and Africa were opened to colonisation. If it were possible to import minerals from space, the increased supply could drive down prices, encouraging more consumption on Earth[86].

But what is the value of an asteroid? NASA estimates that the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter may be worth 700 quintillion dollars, about 100 billion for every single person on Earth. A single asteroid may contain 30 million tonnes of nickel, 1.5 million tonnes of cobalt and 7500 tonnes of platinum, which alone is worth more than $150 billion[87]. Although the potential water and mineral wealth of the asteroid belt is vast, so far the great distance from Earth, travel time and energy consumption required rule them out as targets[88].

Image of the mining targets set by the OSIRIS-Rex robot on Bennu, a 500-metre-diameter asteroid constantly approaching Earth[89]

In 2020, NASA awarded four companies contracts to extract small quantities of lunar regolith (rock and soil) by 2024, effectively beginning the era of commercial space mining[90]. The British company Metalysis (an ESA partner) has developed a process to extract oxygen from lunar regolith[91]. The Moon is a prime target for mining in space: it is probably the first place where commercial mining will take place – there is water and helium-3 (a light, stable isotope of helium). Furthermore, in comparison with Mars, the Moon has several advantages. It is relatively close, requires a journey of only a few days and creates communication delays of only 2.7 seconds (compared to 40 minutes with Mars[92]): a delay small enough to allow robots to operate remotely from Earth. Its low gravity means relatively low energy expenditure to bring mineral resources into Earth orbit[93].

This should be essential for human missions to Mars. Given the distance and relatively high gravity of Mars (twice that of the Moon), the extraction and export of its minerals to Earth still seems highly unlikely. Rather, most resource extraction on Mars will focus on providing materials to supply exploration missions, refuel spacecraft, and enable human settlement[94].

Bringing the atmosphere to Mars: reality or madness?

According to NASA, it is now possible to bring the atmosphere to Mars thanks to artificial magnetic fields[95]

In 2017, Jim Green (for 12 years director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, now retired), along with other scientists, published a paper suggesting how to make Mars habitable for humans (terraform it) using a giant magnetic shield, placed between Mars and the Sun, that would allow the surface temperature of Mars to rise and prevent the Sun from melting the atmosphere with its heat[96]. This would favour the growth of vegetation, the introduction of micro-organisms and an increase in temperature that would allow the formation of lakes and rivers[97]. This could change the current situation: Three-fifths of Mars’ surface is covered by a desert of reddish dust, its atmosphere is extremely rarefied, about 1% of Earth’s, and is 96% carbon dioxide[98].

The first step is to affect atmospheric pressure. Jim Green explains: “The magnetic space shield might be able to create a sufficiently large magnetosphere around Mars. This would allow a pressure of 60 millibars to be reached, at least initially, which is still low, since the atmospheric pressure on Earth is at least 10 times higher” [99]. The shield would increase the pressure of the planet, and with it the temperature. These conditions would trigger natural processes that would lead to the birth and growth of plants. The latter could, in an initial phase, be sent from Earth[100].

Jim Green has been working on the shield for two years, but knows that his idea is rejected by much of the scientific community[101]. According to the scientist, the terraforming process could also involve Venus, using a similar method to the one he is planning for Mars. In the case of Venus, the shield would reflect light and bring down the planet’s global temperature, making it habitable[102]. Jim Green is not the only one who believes in this idea. In 1991, an article published in the journal Nature[103], a collaboration between NASA Ames Research Center and Pennsylvania State University, addressed the scientific feasibility of ‘making Mars habitable’: “Mars is believed to be lifeless, but it might be possible to turn it into a planet suitable for habitation by plants and possibly humans (…) The success of such an enterprise would depend on the abundance, distribution and shape of materials on the planet that could provide carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen.”[104]

There are studies showing that there is not enough CO2 on Mars to provide significant greenhouse warming: “in addition, most of the CO2 gas in these reservoirs is not accessible and therefore cannot be easily mobilised. Consequently, we conclude that terraforming Mars is not possible using today’s technology” [105]. After all, the cost calculation, discussed by Jim Green in a BBC broadcast, speaks of several hundred billion and more than 20 years for construction, plus several decades before significant effects are seen[106]. But all this, at the point we are at, is not important.

In our opinion, some considerations about the state of humanity today can be extrapolated from this discussion. The dream of conquering the stars had been confined for decades to science fiction, especially after the tragic mistakes made by NASA, which cost several human lives and huge sums of money – but the conquest of Mars reawakens it, because man has always needed a new frontier to conquer, and this long before Christopher Columbus left from Palos de la Frontera or Lewis and Clark left from Camp Dubois, Illinois, to conquer the American west coast.

Along with this new dream, industry desperately seeks outlets for growth, now impossible on Earth, and a way to solve the problem of our planet’s possible ecological collapse. It is strangely easier to put together 100 billion to go to Mars than to find 10 billion to reforest the Amazon and the Sahara – and that is hard to explain. In this new century of the return to exasperated militarism, the conquest of space also becomes an outlet for the millions of madmen who can’t wait to get their hands on it without the fear of an atomic war, and who get excited at the sight of films about superheroes or intergalactic wars.

The Earth is seriously ill, the human being is worse off. Dreaming of Mars is not forbidden, but it is certainly not an entirely reassuring sign.


[1] https://www.focus.it/scienza/spazio/exomars-2016-orbiter?gmg=69416#img=6941

[2] https://elementy.ru/nauchno-populyarnaya_biblioteka/430541

[3] https://elementy.ru/nauchno-populyarnaya_biblioteka/430541

[4] https://elementy.ru/nauchno-populyarnaya_biblioteka/430541

[5] https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/postsecondary/features/F_Canali_and_First_Martians.html

[6] https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast29jun_1m/

[7] https://elementy.ru/nauchno-populyarnaya_biblioteka/436122/Obshchaya_strategiya_poiskov_zhizni_na_Marse_i_ekspeditsiya_v_krater_Ezero?from=rxblock

[8] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7248062.stm

[9] https://www.space.com/nasa-plans-astronauts-mars-mission-30-days

[10] https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/news/mgs-20061206.html

[11] https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/news/mgs-20061206.html

[12] https://elementy.ru/nauchno-populyarnaya_biblioteka/430541

[13] https://mars.nasa.gov/odyssey/index.cfm ; https://mars.nasa.gov/news/9175/nasa-extends-exploration-for-8-planetary-science-missions/

[14] https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Mars_Express/The_planetary_adventure_continues_-_Mars_Express_and_Venus_Express_operations_extended

[15] https://mars.nasa.gov/mro/

[16] https://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/files/2012/11/MAVEN-HQ_FactSheet.pdf

[17] For India, this is the first launch of a spacecraft to another planet: https://www.isro.gov.in/update/24-sep-2014/mars-orbiter-spacecraft-successfully-inserted-mars-orbit ; https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/170384-india-successfully-launches-mars-orbiter-hopes-to-become-a-space-superpower ; https://www.planetary.org/space-missions/mangalyaan

[18] https://www.isro.gov.in/

[19] Named in honour of great Italian astronomer – Giovanni Schiaparelli who studied Mars and created the first map of the planet in 1888, discovering the famous ‘channels’ on Mars, see more: https://www.raicultura.it/scienza/articoli/2019/06/Schiaparelli-e-i-canali-di-Marte-cfdb47bc-889c-4146-90bf-2841a1a3e5da.html

[20] https://www.focus.it/scienza/spazio/cosa-e-successo-a-exomars-schiaparelli ; https://www.corriere.it/scienze/16_ottobre_20/exomars-silenzio-schiaparelli-sonda-precipitata-marte-dfffc53a-96a1-11e6-9c27-eb69b8747d1f.shtml

[21] https://www.focus.it/scienza/spazio/exomars-2016-orbiter?gmg=69416#img=6941 ; https://www.focus.it/scienza/spazio/exomars-tgo-pronta-a-cercare-indizi-di-vita-marziana

[22] https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/gli-emirati-arabi-nell-orbita-marte-attesa-cinesi-e-americani-AD65F3IB

[23] https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-55998848

[24] https://www.ilpost.it/2021/02/10/tianwen-1-marte/

[25] https://www.nasa.gov/perseverance

[26] https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/spazio-guerra-ucraina-allontana-exomars-2022-missione-europea-marte-AEirr4aB ; https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/estrarre-ossigeno-co2-marte-ci-e-riuscito-perseverance-AES8JoF

[27] https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/spazio-guerra-ucraina-allontana-exomars-2022-missione-europea-marte-AEirr4aB

[28] https://www.space.com/zhurong-china-mars-rover-hibernating-winter

[29] https://www.ansa.it/canale_scienza_tecnica/notizie/spazio_astronomia/2022/05/24/marte-ultimo-selfieper-la-sonda-insight-della-nasa-_5ff2128e-7f0a-42c5-8935-bce9c939a25e.html

[30] https://mars.nasa.gov/news/9175/nasa-extends-exploration-for-8-planetary-science-missions/

[31] https://notiziescientifiche.it/nasa-e-esa-si-accordano-per-portare-campioni-di-suolo-marziano-sulla-terra/

[32] https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Exploration/Mars_sample_return

[33] https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

[34] https://www.corrierecomunicazioni.it/digital-economy/missione-su-marte-thales-alenia-space-di-nuovo-in-prima-fila/ ; https://www.airbus.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-06-airbus-wins-next-study-contract-for-martian-sample-fetch-rover

[35] https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/spazio-modulo-il-ritorno-luna-campioni-suolo-marziano-ecco-nuovi-contratti-arrivo-l-industria-italiana-AD4N3ac

[36] https://www.wired.it/economia/business/2021/07/31/spazio-musk-bezos-branson-imprese/

[37] https://www.space.com/nasa-plans-astronauts-mars-mission-30-days

[38] https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/moon-to-mars-objectives-.pdf

[39] https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/update-nasa-seeks-comments-on-moon-to-mars-objectives-by-june-3

[40] https://www.space.com/nasa-plans-astronauts-mars-mission-30-days ; YouTube video, NASA: NASA Seeks Input on Moon to Mars Objectives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd4nmO222i8&feature=youtu.be

[41] https://www.space.com/nasa-plans-astronauts-mars-mission-30-days ; YouTube video, NASA: NASA Seeks Input on Moon to Mars Objectives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd4nmO222i8&feature=youtu.be

[42] https://www.space.com/nasa-artemis1-moon-rocket-fueling-june ; https://www.space.com/artemis-1-going-back-to-the-moon

[43] https://www.space.com/nasa-plans-astronauts-mars-mission-30-days ; YouTube video, NASA: NASA Seeks Input on Moon to Mars Objectives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd4nmO222i8&feature=youtu.be

[44] https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/problemi-tecnici-rinviata-due-anni-al-2022-missione-exomars-marte-ADrCHsC

[45] https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/spazio-guerra-ucraina-allontana-exomars-2022-missione-europea-marte-AEirr4aB

[46] https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/i-russi-andranno-soli-marte-dopo-fascisti-guzzanti-AEDSI7KB

[47] https://www.wired.it/article/spazio-economia-europa-fondi-esa/

[48] https://www.wired.it/article/spazio-economia-europa-fondi-esa/

[49] https://www.spaceconomy360.it/politiche-spazio/space-economy-leuropa-lancia-il-fondo-cassini-1-miliardo-di-euro-per-le-startup/

[50] https://www.spaceconomy360.it/politiche-spazio/space-economy-leuropa-lancia-il-fondo-cassini-1-miliardo-di-euro-per-le-startup/

[51] https://www.ilpost.it/2022/02/11/starship-elon-musk-marte/

[52] https://video.repubblica.it/tecnologia/dossier/spazio/la-nuova-animazione-di-spacex-che-spiega-come-arriveremo-su-marte/408260/408966 ; https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/11/science/elon-musk-starship-rocket.html

[53] https://video.repubblica.it/tecnologia/dossier/spazio/elon-musk-spiega-quante-persone-andranno-su-marte-e-quanto-costera-il-biglietto/413704/414631

[54] https://www.ilpost.it/2022/02/11/starship-elon-musk-marte/

[55] https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/science/spacex-moon-nasa.html#:~:text=NASA%20announced%20on%20Friday%20that,and%20robotic%20explorers%20to%20space.

[56] https://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/bezos-blue-origin-loses-lawsuit-nasa-spacex-lunar-lander-contract-rcna4561

[57] https://www.ilpost.it/2022/02/11/starship-elon-musk-marte/

[58] https://www.marca.com/en/lifestyle/us-news/2022/03/19/6236048cca474106568b456d.html ; https://www.esquire.com/it/lifestyle/tecnologia/a39861886/elon-musk-marte-2029/

[59] https://www.cnet.com/culture/elon-musk-at-sxsw-id-like-to-die-on-mars-just-not-on-impact/

[60] https://abiboo.com/nuwa-mars/ ; https://www.curioctopus.it/read/34573/nuwa:-la-prima-citta-su-marte-sara-sostenibile-e-potra-ospitare-1-milione-di-persone

[61] https://abiboo.com/projects/nuwa/

[62] https://www.ansa.it/canale_motori/notizie/attualita/2022/06/08/stop-alla-vendita-di-auto-benzina-diesel-gpl-dal-2035-via-libera-dal-parlamento-europeo_32037239-8d4a-4a3c-98e9-0c933fb7e168.html

[63] https://www.milkenreview.org/articles/mining-in-space-is-coming

[64] DEEP SEA MINING | IBI World Italia

[65] Cfr. “Space mining is not science fiction, and Canada could figure prominently”, 4 aprile 2021, disponibile su https://theconversation.com/space-mining-is-not-science-fiction-and-canada-could-figure-prominently-155855

[66] UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies: https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/spacelaw/treaties/introouterspacetreaty.html

[67] UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies: https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/spacelaw/treaties/introouterspacetreaty.html

[68] U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, see more: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2262/text

[69] https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2262

[70] https://www.wired.co.uk/article/how-to-mine-asteroids-for-fun-and-profit

[71] Un video della società che spiega “asteroid mining”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLouRKHknOU&feature=emb_imp_woyt

[72] https://www.ft.com/content/69293cc4-8e37-11e1-bf8f-00144feab49a

[73] https://www.wired.co.uk/article/how-to-mine-asteroids-for-fun-and-profit

[74] https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis-accords/index.html

[75] Although the Artemis agreements go beyond the issue of resource extraction, NASA’s discourse on the matter is clear. See https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis-accords ; https://ecor.network/articoli/estrazione-mineraria-negli-altri-mondi-la-fase-superiore-dell-estrattivismo-1459/

[76] https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-tech/humans-have-big-plans-mining-space-%E2%80%93-there-are-many-things-holding-us-back

[77] https://space-agency.public.lu/en/space-resources/the-initiative.html

[78] https://spacenews.com/japan-passes-space-resources-law/

[79] https://www.thecairoreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/cr33-global-forum.pdf

[80] https://thesubmarine.it/2016/07/19/asteroid-mining/

[81] https://ecor.network/articoli/estrazione-mineraria-negli-altri-mondi-la-fase-superiore-dell-estrattivismo-1459/

[82] Colorado School of Mines: https://space.mines.edu/ ; https://www.linkiesta.it/2019/12/space-mining-miniere-spazio/

[83] https://www.milkenreview.org/articles/mining-in-space-is-coming

[84] https://ttu-ir.tdl.org/handle/2346/74082

[85] https://aerospacecue.it/space-mining-colonizzazione-spaziale/22498/

[86] https://ecor.network/articoli/estrazione-mineraria-negli-altri-mondi-la-fase-superiore-dell-estrattivismo-1459/

[87] https://www.minnovo.it/asteroid-mining-quanto-puo-valere-un-asteroide/

[88] https://www.milkenreview.org/articles/mining-in-space-is-coming

[89] https://westeastspace.com/2020/04/15/nasa-digging-up-dirt-on-an-astroid/

[90] https://payneinstitute.mines.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/149/2020/09/Payne-Institute-Commentary-The-Era-of-Commercial-Space-Mining-Begins.pdf ; https://blogs.nasa.gov/bridenstine/2020/09/10/space-resources-are-the-key-to-safe-and-sustainable-lunar-exploration/ ; https://www.milkenreview.org/articles/mining-in-space-is-coming

[91] https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Turning_Moon_dust_into_oxygen

[92] https://theconversation.com/humans-have-big-plans-for-mining-in-space-but-there-are-many-things-holding-us-back-181721

[93] https://www.milkenreview.org/articles/mining-in-space-is-coming

[94] https://www.milkenreview.org/articles/mining-in-space-is-coming

[95] https://www.blenderguru.com/tutorials/make-mars

[96] Green, J. L. ; Hollingsworth, J. ; Brain, D. ; Airapetian, V. ; Pulkkinen, A. ; Dong, C. ; Bamford, R. “A Future Mars Environment for Science and Exploration”, https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2017LPICo1989.8250G/abstract

[97] https://www.rainews.it/articoli/2022/01/lex-dirigente-nasa-jim-green-possiamo-terraformare-marte-quanto–fattibile-4b051c31-7d02-4c0b-b856-875575d83396.html

[98] https://www.ilmessaggero.it/scienza/marte_perseverance_nasa_ossigeno_ultima_ora-5915614.html

[99] https://nataleseremia.com/2022/01/05/jim-green-ex-scienziato-della-nasa-progetta-terraformazione-di-marte/

[100] https://nataleseremia.com/2022/01/05/jim-green-ex-scienziato-della-nasa-progetta-terraformazione-di-marte/

 [101] https://slate.com/technology/2018/09/terraforming-mars-bad-idea-elon-musk.html

[102] https://notiziescientifiche-it.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/notiziescientifiche.it/scienziato-lascia-nasa-e-progetta-terraformazione-di-marte/?amp_js_v=a6&_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQIKAGwASCAAgM%3D&fbclid=IwAR2-VXZaS0SXf4ipRjr4j2yGhuAxIUmcUt7X5V_zpJOPSzrMp41QcE0Q1-w#aoh=16412932425178&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=Da%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fnotiziescientifiche.it%2Fscienziato-lascia-nasa-e-progetta-terraformazione-di-marte%2F

[103] https://www.nature.com/articles/352489a0

[104] https://www.rainews.it/articoli/2022/01/lex-dirigente-nasa-jim-green-possiamo-terraformare-marte-quanto–fattibile-4b051c31-7d02-4c0b-b856-875575d83396.html

[105] https://www.rainews.it/articoli/2022/01/lex-dirigente-nasa-jim-green-possiamo-terraformare-marte-quanto–fattibile-4b051c31-7d02-4c0b-b856-875575d83396.html

[106] https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0017f68

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