How do you die on mars

    Man seeks to Mars . NASA plans to land astronauts on the planet's surface by 2030. Private space companies like SpaceX are expressing interest in the colonization of Mars, and the Mars One project has already prepared a list of civilians who will receive a one-way ticket in 2020.

    While many dream of spending the days allotted to them on the Red Planet, these days can be counted on the fingers. The environment of Mars is very different from Earth, so engineers will have to solve a huge number of technological problems related to the safety of people on the planet. Not all solutions are, and development can take many years. If you hastily fly, you can end the trip tragically.

    Popular Science Compiledlist of problems that will cause man to die on Mars.


    You will break

    Let's imagine that you spent many months on a space travel and finally got to the orbit of Mars. The simplest thing left is to go down to the surface. And here a problem arises: the atmosphere of Mars is 100 times less dense than the atmosphere of the Earth.

    On Earth, parachutes are used to land a spaceship, and the atmosphere helps to slow down the flight. The larger the object, the more difficult it is to prevent it from approaching the surface. On Mars, gently planting the device will be much more difficult.

    Bret Drake, NASA’s deputy director of research missions, says that with existing technology, it’s possible to land an object weighing one ton on Mars. For comparison: the maximum mass of Dragon with a cargo for the ISS is more than seven tons. Drake adds that NASA needs to land 20 to 30 tons at a time in order to deliver astronauts, equipment, and provisions.

    The agency needs to design a unique braking system. Scientists are currently working on a Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, a disk-shaped supersonic moderator. An inflatable ball will increase the surface area of ​​the lander to slow down the speed in the atmosphere of Mars. The device will be tested on Earth in June, in Hawaii.

    Mars One and SpaceX have not yet told how they plan to lower their devices to the surface of Mars.


    You will freeze

    Astronauts will have to deal with harsh weather. The average temperature on the surface of Mars is minus 62 degrees Celsius, but it varies depending on the season, time of day and location. The equator has a temperature of 27 degrees, and the poles 175 degrees below zero.

    Scientists and engineers have come up with many ways that allow astronauts and astronauts to deal with severe temperature fluctuations - thanks to the International Space Station. When the ISS is located on the sunny side, it can withstand 90 degrees, and on the night side - minus 130 degrees. The spacesuits of astronauts and astronauts and the station itself are equipped with temperature control systems that protect both from cold and heat.

    These systems are designed to operate in a vacuum. For the atmosphere of Mars will have to work on new technologies.

    South polar cap of mars

    You will die of hunger

    Life on the surface of Mars will be something like life in Antarctica. All food, tools and other cargo of the station in Antarctica is received from other continents, and such deliveries do not happen very often. In the case of Mars, deliveries will be much rarer - to reach the planet, it will take from 9 to 12 months from the time of take-off, which can be delayed for various reasons. In order for the colony to survive, you need to grow something yourself - for example, create a farm.

    Mars One wants to grow crops in rooms with artificial lighting. 80 square meters of area will be occupied by plants. Water the plants will be the water that they find in the soil of the planet. Vegetables will receive carbon dioxide from a crew of four.

    Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a weak spot in this regard. According to their calculations, carbon dioxide from four people will not be enough to support the life of a sufficient number of plants. A crew of more people will not solve the problem: in any case, half the crew will have enough food.

    Either you need to grow fewer crops - but then there will be less food than you need - or find a way to get additional carbon dioxide. For example, make it from oxygen. But in this case, the settlers will have to breathe less.


    You explode

    Plants on Mars are needed not only for food - they are a vital source of oxygen. Using this source is better than constantly sending oxygen tanks to Mars, because every kilogram of cargo costs a lot of money.

    Studies have shown that plants are able to grow in Martian soil, but so far no one has grown crops from Earth under Martian gravity. We need to conduct new research and find out whether vegetation is able to survive on this planet. If the answer is yes, the settlers will be able to feed themselves. In addition, they will receive oxygen.

    But a large amount of oxygen in a confined space is a problem. The crew can be poisoned by them and, even more frightening, oxygen can explode. The team will need a method to extract excess oxygen from the air. There are methods on Earth for this, but they have not been tested on Mars.

    NASA already has a plan to improve the ecosystem of Mars. Researchers want to send selected bacteria to the planet - for example, cyanobacteria. They are capable of photosynthesis, accompanied by the release of oxygen, and must survive on the surface of the planet. And the Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) project will release oxygen from carbon dioxide.

    You may not fly

    You may not live up to all possible scenarios because of cosmic radiation. This radiation easily passes through the lining of the spacecraft, and its long exposure, according to experiments on mice, affects the functioning of the brain. Moreover - it causes cancerous tumors.

    On the ISS, astronauts are protected from cosmic radiation due to the Earth's magnetic field. This factor will not be during a long trip in space. The effect of radiation on each individual person can be individual, and women may not be worth flying at all.

    NASA is looking for talent

    While many technologies are not ready, NASA is seeking help from enthusiasts . The agency holds contests among developers and is looking for ideas that will help astronauts survive.

    Mars is located 225 million 300 thousand kilometers from Earth - cargo delivery will take a lot of time and will be very expensive. In the Journey to Mars contest, NASA is waiting for the best ideas to minimize its dependence on the Earth, and the winners will receive $ 5000 each.

    Later, NASA announced a 3D-printed housing contest for other planets with a prize pool of $ 2.25 million. It is about developing housing for living on another planet, including Mars.


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