Top 10 Factors That Prevent Us From Mounting An Expedition To The Red Planet

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Even before historical landing of Curiosity on Mars on August 5th 2012, many people were already envisioning their dream of colonizing another planet come to fruition. In fact, at this point the Mars One project was founded with a simple goal in mind, namely establishing the first human colony on Mars by 2023. While there is no denying the fact that their goals are noble, it is necessary to mention that there are several major impediments which could prevent them from even reaching the red planet. Let’s go over the factors that hinder humankind’s attempt to carry on a successful expedition to Mars.

 

1. The duration of the trip

Trip to Mars

Given the current technology, it is estimated that a trip to Mars would take approximately two to three years. However, considering that the crew will need provisions for the full trip plus the extra until they are settled and live off the Martian soil it means that the ship will be full and navigate slowly. And, the longer the voyage to the red planet, the higher the chances of colliding with a meteor. In addition, during this time the astronauts will start losing bone mass, muscle mass and will most likely be exposed to cosmic radiation.

 

2. Cancer

Cancer

Since Mars has not atmosphere, it is safe to assume that the amount of cosmic rays and particles is considerably higher than on Earth. Consequentially, the Martian colonists will be exposed to a lot of radiation and hence, develop all sorts of carcinomas. In other words, until mankind develops an effective means to shield the first Martian colonists from cosmic radiation, there is a high chance the crew members die within a few weeks there.

 

3. Space dementia

Space dementia

Even if it would be possible for the first spaceship to reach Mars in approximately two years, the truth is that during this timeframe the crew will be forced to be cooped up with a bunch of other people they don’t really know. Moreover, since there is not much you can do in space, even the most excited expedition members will get bored with each other and start fighting or worse, experience the space dementia described by the Apollo astronauts.

 

4. Food

Space food

Granted, the colonists will surely have sufficient provisions for several years. But, what will happen when they run out of food? While one solution implies constantly sending in supplies from Earth, pulling this trick off would be extremely expensive, as besides the food, there is also the fuel and spaceship to account for. In addition, there is no guarantee that the supplies will reach their destination safely given the number of meteors lurking around between Earth and Mars.

 

5. Clothes

Clothes

In spite of the fact that the astronaut suits did their job excellently so far, it is necessary to point out that no person has actually stayed that long in a suit before. OK, Martian gravity is lower than on Earth, a fact that surely makes carrying these heavy suits easier and improves mobility of the wearer. On the other hand, it is really no good for anything else than Martian sightseeing.

 

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