Sending Humans to Mars
March 28, 2017
There are many missions planned for Mars by governments and private enterprise. Some of these include human passengers. What will it take to book a flight to Mars?
Why go to Mars?
Mars and Venus are the two closest planets to Earth. Mars is further, but the preferred choice for colonization because the conditions are more tolerable and large quantities of water ice are thought to be at the polar caps and underground.
To travel to Mars most efficiently, leave on the right day. Since Earth and Mars are both moving around the Sun at different speeds, it is best to wait for both planets to be in just the right position. The next available launch window is the 5th of May, 2018. A non-stop trip to Mars takes around 9 months.
The International Space Station (ISS), our moon, and the Mars moon Phobos, are possible stopover destinations to allow for refueling, restocking and crew changes before landing on Mars.
Bring Sunscreen and Hairbands
There are health concerns that exist from exposure to cosmic rays and other radiation found in space. In zero gravity, everything floats, so a “moon-face” and other bloated body parts are the norm. Other symptoms include bad hair days, nasal congestion and excess flatulence. For some people, this won’t be a difficult adjustment.
The psychological and social effects of humans living in tight quarters, isolated from Earth, may be the greatest challenge to Mars colonization (next to funding).
Buckle up. The atmosphere on Mars is thinner and shallower than on Earth, so landing on Mars is a thrill ride that has been called “7 minutes of terror”. Though it is likely that by the time Earth aliens are ready to descend on Mars, improvements in technology could reduce the stress to “11 minutes of slight trepidation”.
Get comfortable. Feel lighter than air in gravity that is about 1/3 of that of Earth. Average temps are a brisk -81 degrees F (-63 degrees Celsius). Those wishing to leave Mars the moment they arrive, must wait five hundred days for the best transfer window back to Earth.
Getting humans to Mars will take great vision, effort and resources. It is a long-term investment that may be necessary for humanity’s survival, and it is another step toward the stars.
Article by Jack Hanson
Humans on Mars image from Wikimedia
Inner Planets image from Wikimedia
Weightless Hair from Wikimedia
Taking Photo by eyecmore from Flickr
Mars colony image from Wikimedia
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