Going to Mars has always been a far-off dream. But in as little as ten years time, it may just become a reality. NASA hopes to do a three-year mission to Mars by the 2030s. Mars One, a non-profit organization, has even loftier goals of establishing a permanent colony on Mars by 2024 while also documenting it all for television. Elon Musk, the tech billionaire, recently announced his plans to establish a colony on Mars in an attempt to save humans from extinction.
With interplanetary travel being such a hot topic of conversation lately, just what, exactly, would life on Mars look like for the humanoid? While Mars and Earth are often considered sisters, daily life would look fundamentally different. Reaching Mars, a trip that would be between 150 to 300 days, would be the easy part. Humans would be establishing an entirely new civilization, which would bring challenges that those left on Earth would never understand. With that, here are 15 things you may not have known about life on Mars.
15 Mars Will Alter Your Body
Although Earth and Mars are often called “sister planets,” the inhospitable Martian environment will likely take a serious toll on the human body, some threats which may even be deadly. For example, the perpetual red dust contains carcinogens, which could negatively affect health as well as cause allergies. It’s possible that the red dust could burn the skin similar to that of bleach, but it hasn’t been proven yet. Too much exposure to the Martian soil, which contains a chemical called perchlorates, have been shown to negatively impact the thyroid as well.
14 Dietary Restrictions Won’t Be Tolerated
13 You Would Weigh Less, Be Taller And Stronger
12 It's Freezing Cold
11 Your Days Will Be Longer
You may not have to ever utter something about how there are not enough hours in the day if you were to live on Mars. Martian days are 30 to 40 minutes longer than on Earth. That amounts to almost five extra hours per week and a total of 687 days per year compared to Earth’s 365. Think of all you could accomplish! This is because Mars is farther from the sun than that of Earth, making its orbital period much greater. Many of us would be quite content with nearly an extra hour every day in our lives and an extra 5 hours per week.
10 Your Daily Life Will Change Drastically
NASA is set to send humans to Mars by 2030. In order to see how humans would respond psychologically to living on Mars, they have launched a series of experiments to simulate Martian life on Earth in what they have called “Hawaii Space Exploration Analogue and Simulation (HI-SEAS). The most recent experiment sent a team of six individuals to live on the side of a mountain in a 36 by 20-foot solar-powered dome in Hawaii for an entire year, where they had no extremely limited contact with the outside world. The experiment ended in August of 2016.
9 Daily Amenities, Anything But Luxurious
Then again, did you expect it to be anything different? If you have any bit of princess or prince inside you, then you may have some difficulties adjusting to life on Mars. Of course, astronauts happily forego life’s little pleasures in favour of the advancements that space travel can bring about. Of course, it is still worth a discussion. No longer will you get to enjoy a fresh dinner; your dinner will consist of freeze-dried meat, powdered cheese or canned tuna because everything has to be able to last on a shelf - at least that’s what happened for those who partook in the Mars simulation experiment. The only fresh vegetables were ones that people grew themselves, meaning they were limited. There is also talk that NASA may be developing an entirely vegan menu.
8 The Atmosphere Could Kill You
7 Major Sleeping Problems
6 You'll Never Be Alone (And Can Never Leave)
Aside from the challenge of boredom and monotony of living in the dome (which we will get to), the third challenge that seemed to arise in NASA’s year long Mars simulation experiment was living in a tight space with other people. Further, although the distractions that typically cause humans to procrastinate were eliminated in the Mars experiment, other people became distractions. The team hardly ever felt alone; to do that, they had to wear earplugs. Indeed, living on Mars may be an introvert’s worst nightmare.
5 Your Constant Battle With Boredom
4 You May Not Ever Skype Again
3 Sexual Relations Would Be Awkward
When it comes to the topic of sex in space, it has been little studied (actually, not all, at least according to NASA). NASA insists that nothing of that nature actually happens in space. But that's probably because they have been short term missions. If people are going to live on Mars for years at a time, and even permanently if the Mars One project has its way, it is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. While Mars One insists that they don't want their colonists to reproduce, will birth control actually work in space when women's hormones are going to be crazy? Indeed, the topic of sexual health, contraception and pregnancy need to be studied in more detail.
2 You Might Find Extraterrestrial Life
1 You May Already Be A Martian
Men are from Mars and women are from Venus? Actually, both men and women may be from Mars! While this entry isn’t exactly about life on Mars, the theory is so mind blowing that it deserves a discussion. Pieces of Mars in the form of meteorites have actually landed on Earth at various points in time, including in the Antarctic and Egypt - a total of 121 Martian meteorites in total. This suggests that microbial organisms (i.e. life) could have been transferred between Mars and Earth and that, well, we could very well be the Martians! Mind blowing, right? This is called the panspermia theory. Obviously, the organisms would have had to withstood freezing temperatures and a range of other harsh conditions, but the theory is an interesting one regardless. The fact that Mars used to be able to support life back in its early history suggests that this theory may hold some truth.
Sources: CNN, <span style="font-weight: 400;">HuffingtonPost, NatGeo, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">NPR, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Physics, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">ScienceAlert, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">UniverseToday </span>
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