A Few Reasons Why Living on Mars Would Suck

Thursday, 08 June 2017 - 11:10AM
Mars
Space
Thursday, 08 June 2017 - 11:10AM
A Few Reasons Why Living on Mars Would Suck
Image credit: NASA
We're sure that a great lot of you would jump for joy at the chance to visit Mars. A largely unexplored alien planet with the potential for life? Sounds pretty rad. Intense radiation, in-flight osteoporosis, and not getting to breathe regularly? Maybe not so much. Let's explore why, despite being the scientific exploration experience of a lifetime, living on Mars would be terrifically awful.

Let's start with the weather. Mars, like Earth, has seasons (it also tilts on its axis). However, unlike Earth, Mars orbits in a much more elliptical pattern. Because of this, winters would be much colder, with maximum temperatures reaching -195 F (-126 C). And while the summers can reach a balmy 68 F (20 C), we, as humans, are not physically equipped to handle the temperature variations on the Red Planet.

Now, these temperature variations wouldn't just be uncomfortably chilly, they would also be unbearably dusty. These large changes in temperature cause massive dust storms. And, if you've read or seen The Martian, you would know just how troublesome a Martian dust storm could be.
Image Credit: NASA

Now, in sci-fi images and illustrations of Mars, it often appears as a sunny desert. However, the sunlight intensity on Mars is probably less than what you might expect, as it has been likened to the sunlight on Devon Island, which is located in a polar desert in Canada. This sun issue might worsen the already high possibility of severe mental health issues (space madness, as it's commonly known) that come with Martian living, but you might never have to deal with those repercussions because of the effects of Mars radiation. According to Cary Zeitlin of the Southwest Research Institute that has been studying how radiation exposure has affected the Curiosity rover, "In space, [radiation] is between a 100 and 1,000 times higher dose rate [of radiation] than on Earth." There have been concerns raised of this increased radiation leading to increased risk of cancer and even cognitive abilities. 

This list could go on and on about the negatives of life on Mars, but that doesn't really change our desire to explore it—especially in the new Batmobile rover NASA unveiled last month. We'll just have to plan ahead and hope the space madness doesn't get to us.
Science
NASA
Mars
Space
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