LOCATION OF PLANET MARS
That brings us to our next point: location. Mars is relatively close to the Earth. Mars sits between the asteroid belt and us, acting as a kind of stepping stone to what lies beyond. It remains close enough to the sun to benefit from its heat (and light) but remains far enough away to be protected from any significant change in the sun’s heat output. (We still know little about the sun’s long-term heat cycles.)
POSSIBLE LIVING LOCATIONS ON PLANET MARS
My personal favorite reason for colonizing Mars is that it offers a backup plan for humanity. Every few million years, the Earth tends to be wiped clear of almost all life in a globally catastrophic event (read: asteroid collision). An asteroid the size of Dactyl could wipe us off the face of the Earth. Who knows how close we’ve already come to blowing ourselves to smithereens.
A colony on Mars is not far off, but the question remains: could that colony be self-sufficient? The time will come when Mars will not need Earth to sustain it, much like the United States found itself long before the Revolutionary War. Does that mean life will be self-sufficient? No. We may be able to grow our own food on the planet in greenhouses, but what about wild animals, and birds, and fish, and rivers, and oceans? Terraforming, then, becomes a necessity in more than one way. Terraforming is the process of creating another Earth, and you can find out more about it by reading the various terraforming articles on this site. The general consensus is terraforming is necessary for global colonization and global colonization is necessary for terraforming. The two go hand-in-hand.