Can humans live on other planets?


Quick Answer

As of 2014, science has not confirmed the ability of humans to live on other planets. However, scientists working with the Kepler space telescope announced in 2013 that a few recently discovered planets offer the best hope yet for the survival of human life away from Earth.

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Full Answer

Mars has long been one of the planets most studied to assess its potential to host human life. However, bitterly cold surface conditions, a thin atmosphere consisting heavily of carbon dioxide, limited supplies of liquid water and constant dust storms are among the most cited obstacles.

The five planets discovered from 2011 to 2013 are called Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, Kepler 62, Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f. An April 2013 CNN article indicated that Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f are the most likely to be habitable. Kepler-62f is most similar to the Earth and is about 40 percent larger in size. William Borucki, the lead investigator of NASA's Ames Research Center, states that it has a land mass, water, rocks and polar caps, just as Earth does. Kepler-62e is about 60 percent larger than the Earth, but it consists of lots of water and very deep oceans. Its limited land mass would impede population development. Kepler-69c is about 70 percent larger than the Earth and appears to have a very warm surface. As of 2014, it is not firmly known whether or not humans could live on any of these planets.

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