NASA Is Still A Big Jump Away From Any Mars Mission

( When former President George W. Bush announced in January 2004 that the U.S. would send people to Mars and other places, the country hadn’t gone beyond low-earth orbit since its last mission to the moon in 1972.

Now, after more than 18 years? Few things have changed.

Why can’t we go to Mars?

Our bodies may not survive the flight.

Humans reach Mars in 9 months, yet no one has succeeded in recreating Earth’s gravity in space. Using no power has enormous implications; muscles atrophy, the heart weakens, and the bone structure collapses. In short, you will get an old lady’s body.

Help can only reach Mars every two years. Astronauts leaving in 2024 won’t get aid until 2026.

Another significant obstacle is that Mars lacks a radiation belt to shield humans from solar and cosmic rays. Without protection, the body is exposed to harmful UV radiation for longer. Mars astronauts would be exposed to 50 times more radiation than Earth humans. This radiation can cause deadly tumors.

Also, Mars’ air isn’t breathable.

Mars’ scant atmosphere prevents our lungs from taking up enough oxygen. It also contains practically no oxygen and not enough for humans to breathe normally. To survive, we humans must build a living environment indoors and only venture outdoors in pressurized suits.

Another hurdle is that we cannot produce food in space.

Even while some studies are underway, astronauts on the ISS are now unable to grow enough food to support themselves. Their food is dehydrated or irradiated from Earth. If a Mars mission happens, humans won’t be able to bring enough food for a protracted journey.

In addition, Mars’ energy sources are limited. We haven’t discussed how we would manufacture energy on Mars, which is far more complex than on Earth.

It takes a solid mind to travel to Mars. NASA is addressing the psychological effects of the journey. An extended period may affect their mental health.

One hopeful development for space travel has just occurred.

Researchers have grown plants – some more effectively than others – in lunar soil for the first time, bringing the potential of cultivating food on the moon one step closer.

Scientists witnessed thale cress seeds sprout and mature into full-fledged plants after planting them in lunar dust carried back by three Apollo flights, boosting the possibility of astronauts farming off-world crops.

However, while the plants lived in the regolith or lunar soil, they did not thrive. They grew more slowly than cress sowed in volcanic ash, had stunted roots, and displayed unmistakable physiological stress symptoms.

We have a long way to go to realize our dream of colonizing Mars.