An artist's concept depicts a Mars outpost 50 years in the future.
Robert Zubrin, an aerospace engineer and leading advocate for human colonization on Mars, said the ultimate goal to ring in Sputnik's hundredth anniversary should be to transform Mars into a new sanctuary for human civilization.
The first Martian colonies could be created by building pressurized geodesic domes to shelter humans and plants. Within 50 years of re-engineering Mars, the planet might hold up to 10,000 people, including the first generation of humans to be born on Mars.
Remaking Mars in Earth's image, Zubrin said, could become the first stepping stone toward human migration throughout the Milky Way.