NASA lists five risks of human journey to Mars

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Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : Human journey to Mars sounds fascinating but the fact is that the organized effort may welcome list of risks that astronauts may suffer on the red planet. NASA, in order to overcome the possible obstacles, have listed five risks that may create problem for human spaceflight on Mars

NASA have studied the risks by using ground-based analogues, laboratories, and the International Space Station (ISS), which serves as a test bed to evaluate human performance and counter-measures required for the exploration of space, the US space agency said in a statement.

As per NASA's Human Research Program, the hazards are: radiation; isolation and confinement; distance from Earth; gravity and hostile or closed environments.

"Various research platforms give NASA valuable insight into how the human body and mind might respond during extended forays into space," NASA researchers said. "The resulting data, technology and methods developed to serve as valuable knowledge to extrapolate to multi-year interplanetary missions," they said.

NASA says that the first problem that human would encounter is the difficulty to visualise because space radiation is invisible to the human eye.

There might be behavioural issues among groups of people packed in a small space over a long period of time, no matter how well trained they are, are expected, according to NASA.

Therefore, crews to take off for Mars will be carefully chosen, trained and supported to ensure they can work effectively as a team for months or years in space, it said.

Another most apparent risk is the distance. Mars is, on average, 140 million miles from Earth.

NASA noted that the variation of gravity is the fourth risk of a human mission.

On Mars, astronauts would need to live and work in three-eighths of Earth's gravitational pull for up to two years, it noted. Besides, the ecosystem inside a vehicle also plays a big role in everyday astronaut life. 

Regarding the habitability factors, temperature, pressure, lighting, noise, and quantity of space are most important. It's essential that astronauts take requisite food, sleep and exercise needed to stay healthy and happy, it said.