Can we adapt to life in space? – space is a hostile environment for humans. But could we possibly adapt?
- What would it be like if human explorers visited an object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter?
- What would human researchers find when they visit Jupiter’s icy moon Europa and get there?
- What would it be like for a human adventurer to go out on Titan?
How would humans change on Mars?
For some, colonization of Mars seems only a matter of time. But how does the low gravity affect the human body? Researchers believe there will be visible changes – making a return to Earth impossible.
When people think of trips to Mars, they already dream of colonizing the Red Planet. But in these visions, little thought was given to how life on the alien planet would affect the human body.
Mars is, in many ways, very similar to Earth. There are periods of daylight, changes in climate, and even seasons. A very significant difference is that gravity on Mars is only 38% of that of our home planet. And this could have a lasting impact on human beings.
Humans will change physically very quickly because the gravitation on Mars is weaker
Said British astronomer Chris Impey of the University of Arizona in a recent interview.
An uncomfortable environment
To understand the physical challenges that Mars presents to us, we need to look at the general conditions. It is about six times smaller and experiences 62% less gravity on the surface than the Earth.
The atmosphere is toxic and deadly – at least for the vast majority of living beings as we know them. Temperatures range from -5 to -125 degrees Celsius. Water is abundant, although frozen.
Atmospheric pressure is so low that neither water can flow nor humans can survive. The atmosphere and the low force of the planetary magnetic field mean that you get a hundred times more cosmic radiation at the surface than on Earth.
Regular sandstorms tend to block out sunlight for weeks at a time. On the bright side, there is plenty of sunshine otherwise, and one day on Mars lasts about as long as on Earth.