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10 things to know before you decide to travel to Mars

Hard facts one should know before taking the flight of fantasy to Mars

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

Image via Shutterstock

Man's fantasy to find life in outer space is soon likely to become a reality. Over one lakh people have applied for a one-way trip to Mars, as a part of the ambitious $6 bn dollar project that aims to colonise the Red planet starting in 2022.

Here are 10 things you should  know before you decide to travel to

1) Where is

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the Solar System. orbits the at an average distance of 141 million miles, taking 686.93 days or 1.8807 years to complete a revolution.

2) How much do we know about living conditions on Is it similar to life on

Well, not really. Despite costly expeditions being planned, we do not know everything conclusively about life on The surface of is said to be the closest to as compared to other planets but yet, its going to be a very harsh place to live. Temperature on the planet varies between -225 and +60 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average of -67 degrees. also has the largest dust storms in the Solar System. These can vary from a storm over a small area, to gigantic storms that cover the entire planet.

3) Is there existing life on

No conclusive proof of life on is yet to be found and the scientific world is clearly divided on the issue. Most scientists believe it is in the form of microorganisms, though  the discovery of the harsh conditions on the surface of seems to make the existence of life highly unlikely. At a European Space Agency conference in 2005, 75 % of scientists said they believed that life once existed on Mars, while 25 % said they believe life currently exists there. According to a Discovery channel feature, A group of scientists in Indiana are growing small plants in Mars-like soil, in a Martian Environment Simulator, to determine whether it would be possible for astronauts exploring to grow greenhouse plants on the as a food source.

4) What are the possible health hazards of living on

Like other space travels, zero gravity poses the biggest risk for human beings. Experts feel artificial gravity will be necessary for the crew whenever possible during the mission.  The health hazards are both physical as well as pscyhological. Improper blood circulation, space sickness, weak immune system, back aches, muscle loss and radiation are some of the physical problems one will face. Pscyhological problems range from depression, interpersonal conflicts, anxiety, insomnia and even psychosis.

5) Is available on

While scientists have concluded that Mars, like Earth, was once a watery planet, there is little evidence to support the existence of liquid today. It is now a frozen, dry planet. Having developed a thin atmosphere, never has rain—vapour in the air evaporates or becomes unstable. With a reduced ability for greenhouse gases to trap solar heat in a thin atmosphere, is now too cold for abundant liquid on its surface. 
6) What is the One project & how long will it take to travel to

Dutch-based One project is a ‘not for profit foundation that will establish a permanent human settlement on in 2023′, aiming to add more crew to the human colony every two years subsequent. This year 40 people will be chosen for the project and four of these (two men and two women) is likely to be sent to send to in September 2022, to land in April 2023. This means a journey of nearly 8 months to cover a distance of 56 mn kms.

7) Can you come back if you miss life on

Well, forget it. One project is combing applications of thousands who are willing to dedicate their lives to the one-way mission. There is no coming back if you get homesick.

8) How dangerous is the mission to travel to

In spite of the risks of space travel, the One founder said he is convinced of the viability of the project. However, some space travel experts have said the risks are far too high to carry out these manned missions to Mars, a distance that humans have never traveled.

Radiation is a big concern. NASA does not allow their astronauts to expose themselves to radiation levels that could increase their risk of developing cancer by more than 3%.

9) How much does it cost to apply to move to

Anyone over 18 can apply with a fee to submit an application. For the 30,000 Americans that have done so it’s a $38 payment, while for those who reside in Madagascar or Afghanistan it’s just $5.

The varying amounts, the foundation says, take into consideration a country’s GDP, ensuring that access to the selection programme reaches as wide an audience as possible. As per the company the cost of travel has been kept low because they want the funds to be collected by the sponsors and media that will take away its broadcasting rights and movies that will document almost everything from the astronauts. their training on and about the deployment and colonisation of Mars
10) Who else is getting ready to send humans to

One isn't the only group hoping to make history by sending people to the The Inspiration Foundation wants to launch two people -- a man and a woman -- on a 501-day, round-trip journey to and back in 2018 without ever touching down.


First Published: Mon, August 12 2013. 12:52 IST