Will Humans Have to Upgrade Their Bodies to Survive on Mars?

Living and boning in space—particularly on Mars—has fascinated our degenerate species for decades. Recently, SpaceX founder Elon Musk decided to put his very large amount of money where his mouth is by announcing his plans to colonize the Red Planet. NASA also likes to bloviate about its Journey to Mars in the 2030s, and there are a handful of other, shadier plans to colonize the Red Planet championed by celebrities, billionaires, and even the UAE.

But there’s a big difference between putting a few boots on the ground and setting up a long-term base on another planet. Regarding human colonization of Mars, there are a host of concerns—in particular, how will humans fare, both physically and psychologically, in such a harsh environment? In a paper published recently in the journal Space Policy, Konrad Szocik, a cognitive scientist at the University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow, Poland, argues that sending astronauts to live aboard the ISS is not adequate training for life on Mars. In fact, Szocik surmises humans will have to alter their bodies in a pretty extreme way in order to physically and emotionally sustain themselves in a Martian colony.

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