What Would You Need To Live On Mars?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO TO MARS?

What would you need to live on Mars? If you had what you needed, would you like to go to Mars? I’m sure that Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk aren’t the only people who would! These two billionaires are fueling the new space race with their fires, but they aren’t the only ones thinking about how to live on Mars.

The New Space Race_Jeff Bezos is in
Book seller turned space guy
The New Space Race_ELON MUSK is in _ MAKE SENSE OF SCIENCE
From cars to rockets
Please subscribe Susan Berk Koch_Louie blog
Take me to Mars!

I admit that I’m playing catch-up here. Better late than never! The race is only beginning.

THE NEW SPACE RACE

When Jeff Bezos filed suit after NASA awarded Elon Musk the contract to develop a lander for our return to the moon, I had to investigate.

That’s when I found out that I missed the application window for a free trip around the moon in 2023 w/ yet another billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa. 

The New Space Race_Yusaku Maezawa
I'm taking 8 people around the moon in Elon Musk's cool rocket & Sue missed her chance.

How would humans live on Mars, anyway? NASA and its collaborators think that to live on Mars, we ought to practice somewhere in space that’s a little closer to home. 

Gaining new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars! 

For the record, 95% of these photos are courtesy of NASA.

full moon from ISS
YOU GUESSED IT! WE'RE GOING BACK TO THE MOON!

We need to conquer the moon. Why is living on the moon good practice for learning how to live on to Mars?

Let’s ask Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan was prepared
Let's take a lesson from Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan became the first emperor & founder of the Mongol Empire
Click Here
Khan created what would become the largest contiguous empire in history, covering 4,860,000 square miles.
Point being that he started in his own backyard.
He also valued quality over quantity.
Previous
Next

HOW WOULD HUMANS LIVE ON MARS?

By practicing on the moon. Okay, I need to start even smaller. I need more practice sizing my photos!

The New Space Race_ Moon South pole
The Moon's South Pole
Artemis Base Camp is where you'll work
Earth's South Pole

QUICK SYNOPSIS OF THE PLAN

First things first!
Establish a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars. (The Artemis Program)
Orion is the NASA spacecraft that will carry astronauts from Earth to lunar orbit and back.
Orion will be propelled to Gateway by the Space Launch System or SLS.
SLS is Elon Musk's win. What is Gateway? Read on...
SLS ala Elon Musk @ Space X
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin design
Initially, humans will live on Gateway, an outpost orbiting the Moon.
Click Here
GATEWAY
Gateway will remain in lunar orbit for > 10 years, providing a place to live & work, supporting long-term science & human exploration on & around the Moon.
NASA plans to build a base camp on the Moon's south pole
Unrelenting sunlight on the Moon's south pole allows explorers to harvest sunlight to light up a lunar base & power its equipment.
Our south pole experiences 24 hours of sunlight in the summer!
The Moon doesn't tilt on its axis so it has sunlight at its poles 365 days a year.
More on Earth's south pole here
Previous
Next

MOON & MARS : A FEW FACTS

MOON                     238,000 miles

MARS            300,000,000 miles 

MOON is less than a third of the width of Earth

MARS one-half the diameter of Earth…but because Mars has no oceans, its dry land surface is about the same as Earth!

MOON   29.5 Earth days (The moon is tidally locked to Earth. This means that the moon always faces Earth. If you were standing on the moon, Earth would never move in the sky! Talk about strange.)

MARS   24 hours, 37 minutes (This would be easier for us!)

MOON trip is about 3 days

MARS trip is about 210 days

You can see below that our fellow earthlings would already be on the other side of the sun by the time we arrived on Mars.

Trajectory to Mars Make Sense of Science
210 DAYS!

A six-day round trip tour around the moon is short in comparison!

Would you like to go to Mars_ Route to the moon and back
3 days to the moon and three days back!

HOW WOULD HUMANS LIVE ON MARS?

Would you like to go to Mars? _Ian
We want to know because we're all in for Mars!

One thing is for certain; two of those guys above will need  to find some footwear. Mars is rocky.

Mars is Rocky so you'll need shoes if you want to go there
Footwear required for Mars

We need to get a handle on the hazards on a three-day trip before we take a seven month trip! Conquer the risk factors!

And before you decide if you would like to go to Mars, you ought to be aware of a few  risk factors. (Yes, we know about the rocks.)

5 Hazards for Space Travel
What Would You Need To Live On Mars?

5 HAZARDS OF HUMANS LIVING OFF-PLANET (off-planet is a cool term!)

RADIATION
Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere protect us from harsh cosmic radiation, but without that protection, we'll be more exposed.
Click Here
ISOLATION & CONFINEMENT
Behavioral issues among groups of people occupying a small space over a long time--no matter how well trained--are inevitable. Free time is critical!
For more ways to be happy, click here!
Don't forget to bring a good book
Recommendations here!
DISTANCE
Self-sufficiency is key. Louie can't bring your lunch when you forget it.
GRAVITY FIELD DISORIENTATION
Earth to space to moon to space to Mars can cause.....
Spatial orientation, head-eye & hand-eye coordination, balance, locomotion issues & motion sickness. Bones lose minerals causing a drop in density. Muscles lose strength & endurance. Cardiovascular system deconditioning. Fluids shifts could put pressure on the eyes causing vision problems. Kidney stones due to dehydration.
ENVIRONMENT
Confinement can cause allergies, illnesses, & disease.
Previous
Next

All right, we have a few problems. Let’s problem solve!

WHAT WOULD YOU NEED TO LIVE ON MARS?

HOw Would Humans Live on MArs__I won't go without coffee_Kev
Most important question for me : Will there be coffee? (For the science of making a perfect cup on Earth, click on the photo of that handsome resident!)
BRING A SPACESUIT
Mars has a thin atmosphere made up mostly of carbon dioxide (CO2), argon (Ar), nitrogen (N2), a small amount of oxygen & water vapor. NOT BREATHABLE.
Exosphere
Ok, this is about the moon's thin atmosphere but it's interesting...
The gases in the exosphere are so spread out that they rarely collide.
Detectors have identified argon-40, helium-4, oxygen, methane, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
Here's a weird moon fact!
During the lunar night, the Moon's exosphere mostly falls to the ground.
When sunlight returns, the solar wind kicks up new particles to replenish the exosphere.
Previous
Next

Louie and microgravity antics below…

Back to how to live on Mars. We have a spacesuit. Where do we get the oxygen to breathe?

OXYGEN GENERATION
We need to make our oxygen with a chemical reaction. (Go, chemistry!)
I wrote a chemistry book, full of fun activities and cool facts! Click here to order it!
We’ll create oxygen via a process called electrolysis!
Not the hair removal electrolysis
Electrolysis splits water molecules (H2O) into oxygen & hydrogen atoms
For more click here
Previous
Next

We can’t live in spacesuits 24/7 so we need an airtight habitat.

would you like to go to mars_Louie and Captain are in
Louie & his buddy Captain are ready to go to Mars, but not excited about the spacesuits.
HABITAT
Remember that initially, astronauts will live on Gateway, the space station orbiting above the moon. One big task of the Artemis Program is to develop a base camp.
Any living quarters will need shielding from radiation, so it won’t have large picture windows.
Radiation is one of our hazards...
INSULATION
The extreme temperatures of Mars --- -220°F (-140°C) to 70°F (+20°C) -- can result in some pretty serious temperature gradients
Enter...AEROGEL!
Click Here
Aerogel was developed by NASA for use in insulating the Mars Rover
Aerogel holds in heat, so much that it can liquefy frozen water.
Always a plus when the temps get down to -220 F
YOU CAN BUY AEROGEL!
Just because it's cool
Buy aerogel here.
Previous
Next

Currently, there are no oceans, lakes, or rivers on Mars. 

How Would humans Live on Mars_surface area
The land surface area of Mars is about equal to Earth, even though Mars is ½ the diameter!
WATER RECOVERY
(A work in progress...)
Scientists hope to find frozen water in the craters at the Moon's south pole, which is situated with perpetual twilight for solar energy w/ craters tucked away from the sun, potentially shielding water.
Scientists on the ISS (international space station) study how water behaves in a micro-gravity environment, too!
Click Here
The experience NASA gains on the Moon will be used to prepare for Mars.
A little vague but they're working on it.
Previous
Next

One fact is certain, not a drop of water will go to waste.

What would you need to live on Mars? Food!

How To Live on Mars_desserts are keyJPG
How to live on Mars? With desserts!
DELIVERY SERVICE (jk) SPACE FARMING
Astronauts on the ISS do have food delivered but Mars is too far for that!
As seen from Mars!
Scientists are growing food on the ISS
A combination of red and blue wavelengths is needed for good plant growth.
YUM?
Your lunch salad is served!
Previous
Next

Okay, no delivery service but we still need to get around. Remember the rocks?

VEHICLE
As you've undoubtedly concluded, Mars doesn't have a high walkability score
Can we all fit into that vehicle & get salads for lunch?
Previous
Next

Thanks to NASA and their commercial partners, we have a vehicle. How will we gas it up? (There’s no BP on Mars just yet)

With Xenon (Xe) via ion propulsion.

 Ion propulsion systems ionize (aka charge) atoms & then exploit their non-neutral charge to expel them from the spacecraft, creating thrust. 

In this case, an electron is taken away, making the xenon positively charged.

XENON ionized
Yes, chemistry is key!
ION PROPULSION
Click Here
Ion thrusters eject ions instead of combustion gases to create thrust
The most common propellant used in ion propulsion is xenon
Xe is a noble gas so stable, w a high density
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft utilized ion propulsion
Click Here
Previous
Next

We need power for our habitat, to keep the lights on! (I love electricity!) Mars is famous for its dust storms, but has no lightning storms. How will we manage? With our sun!

 

3 Fun experiments
Credit Kelly DeLay
SOLAR ENERGY
Orion, the spacecraft to take us to Mars, will be fitted with solar panels to store energy in lithium batteries, so we’ll have power the second we land!
SOLAR PANELS ON THE ISS
Previous
Next

THE MOON AND MARS ARE CALLING

To date, 12 people have walked on the moon and 12 more have orbited her. Would you like to be the 25th? (Or like to help me get my photos formatted?)

TWELVE PEOPLE HAVE WALKED ON THE MOON
TWELVE PEOPLE HAVE WALKED ON THE MOON
TWELVE PEOPLE HAVE ORBITED THE MOON
TWELVE PEOPLE HAVE ORBITED THE MOON

WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO TO MARS? (now that you know what's what!)

We’ve answered the question, ‘what would you need to live on Mars.’ We missed the applications for the space ride but it’s not too late. Would you like to join the billionaires in the new space race? 

Join us and make sense of science blog
Would I like to go to Mars? What do you think?

 Have I convinced you to change your travel plans?

Would you like to go to Mars?

Make Sense of Science_Louie
I want to go!

ORION HAS SEATING FOR FOUR

WHO WILL YOU BRING TO MARS?

DON'T MISS ANY NEW POSTS

I DO THE RESEARCH SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO!

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on pocket
Share on email
Share on print

62 thoughts on “What Would You Need To Live On Mars?”

  1. I would like to go to the Moon but Mars is a commitment. I’ll wait until they establish a colony–with hot coffee– before I make my decision!

    Reply
  2. First, congratulations on your book. Can’t wait to get a copy for my grandkids. Very thoughtful post about space travel and what our astronauts have to go through to explore new horizons for us. For me the hardest thing would be being away from family and also the isolation of being so far away. Would probably also miss some of the food that you can’t take with you in space. Great job. Keep it up. Mike

    Reply
    • I’d miss the food, too! (Although chocolate is probably portable) You could take three people with you, but choosing who could be difficult. No worries, you can stay on Earth and read my book to your grandkids! Thanks so much, Mike!

      Reply
  3. I personally wouldn’t go to Mars but I have friends who always go on about wanting to visit there! This is such an interesting post, I learnt so much which I had no idea about. Thank you so much for sharing Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

    Reply
  4. The thought of having to live in an airtight habitat and that there’d be no greenery, lakes, or animals makes me vote no. I am looking forward to getting your book “Chemical Reactions” though, and placed my order this morning. It looks like a winner.

    Reply
  5. I don’t think I am open to traveling to Mars or to the Moon. I know that some people will definitely be excited with such an opportunity. Your post was really informative since I had no idea about any of these. Thank you!

    Reply
  6. Hi Sue, I guess whether I would go to Mars would depend on my mood that day. Sometimes it seems that we are all living on Mars, so what’s the big deal? I know a few politicians I’d like to send there…Have you ever done stand-up? You are so funny! Wait – you could be the first comedian on Mars!!Thanks for the funnest blog in the universe that I know of, and best of luck with your new book. I will definitely check it out!

    Reply
    • HA! It does seem some days as if the entire human race is out in space. Maybe I could be the resident comedian! Potty jokes are an easy go-to, especially under these circumstances. I appreciate you checking out my book! Thanks, Marian.

      Reply
  7. This is brilliant! I would 100% live on Mars if I had everything I needed. In fact, the big bucket list on my blog has Mars listed as one of the places I want to visit! I actually think we’re all going to have to move to another planet if we don’t get a hold of this climate crisis. I really loved reading your post, really interesting!

    Reply
  8. It is amazing to me that we have found the means to go off-planet and make life possible on other planets in our solar system livable. I do not think I will be signing up to got to Mars, but I love watching shifts in ways of life happen.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  9. I love your posts and the comments on the photos. I don’t think I’m the sort to go to Mars I like my home comforts too much and not keen on the thought of drinking urine or all the weird co-ordination problems which would be faced. Great article.

    Reply
    • Weird coordination wouldn’t bother me so much but the thought of drinking my co-astronaut’s urine makes me a little queasy, too! If you think about it, we are drinking the same water that, say, Napoleon or Marie Curie or George Washington drank. Maybe we shouldn’t think about that, either? Thanks, Lou!

      Reply
    • I expect the tech advancements on Earth 100 years from now would blow our minds! As exciting as that sounds, I also hope our environment does not change. As you say, humans are best suited for Earth. f we’re going to stay here, we need to take care of our planet! (All right, getting off the soapbox now!) Thanks, Olivia!

      Reply
  10. Love this – this is such an interesting post! The idea of visiting Mars quite frankly terrifies me, but I reckon I would still be up for visiting – although I don’t think I’d want to spend a lifetime there, haha! Thanks for sharing, this was fascinating.

    Reply
    • Perhaps they have alternates in the event that someone does get cold feet? (Or becomes ill?) I see people waiting on the bench at yoga, in the event that someone is a no show. I feel sympathetic, with an urge to give them my spot, while at the same time fortunate and grateful to be taking class! Going to Mars is a far bigger commitment. ha! Thank you!

      Reply
  11. I would love to go to Mars, I’m fascinated with space. But after going on the space craft simulator in Disney, I think I’ll stick to watching documentaries!

    Corinne x

    Reply
  12. I love your posts as always. The enjoy ones on Twitter requiring full time and attention. With great insights. Your humor is a killer, how to turn around to end most of the points with humor, is a genius write! OK desserts, just happy. But just a camel, so not water.
    I don’t know. I have always thought we lived here because earth had life. Life friendly planet. If Mars has nothing, we can’t live there for maybe longer than a week. Though now I’ve forgotten who had lived there the longest. Probably minutes, hours, days. Hypothetically, guess can’t happen beyond a week. Always great info. Thanks for the knowledge. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger
    https://www.lifestyleprism.com/

    Reply
    • I’m so happy that you enjoy my humor! I make myself chortle but since our boys think I’m a total dork, I wonder if I’m actually funny or pathetic! Earth is a precious, life-friendly planet! Scientists think that there are mysteries to be solved on Mars, including whether or not there was life at one point. It will be exciting to watch what transpires, not to mention the advances in tech that NASA and partners will hurry to develop. That can only help us here on Earth!
      Off my soapbox now. Thanks so much for reading my post, Isa!

      Reply
  13. No desire to go to Mars, but I did enjoy the 2015 film, “The Martian” with Matt Damon. That movie explored some of the creative ways for recycling water and growing food from human waste. Remember when the astronauts went to the Moon and Tang and freeze-dried ice cream was the rage?

    Reply
    • I liked the book ‘The Martian’ and thought they did a great job with the film. I still laugh when I think about their inventive use of duct tape but yes, many of the technologies in the film mirror actual tech. TANG! I can’t imagine how anyone would think watery orange-flavored water is superior to freshly squeezed OJ! Thanks, Kathy!

      Reply

I'd love to hear what you think! Please jot me a note below. Please note that all comments are held for moderation.

Susan Berk Koch author

My New Book!

Be the best-informed reader!

Make Sense of Science is my email newsletter where I share information about future science, new tech developments, as well as tools and resources for STEM at home. It arrives every two weeks and you’ll only hear from me. (And Louie)

YES! I'm IN

Be the smartest person on your block!

Enter your email & I’ll share news about future science, STEM activities, and the best books.

And more Louie!

Louie says please subscribe to our science blog

Be the Best Informed!

I’ll make sense of science, share news about new tech, science advancements, and more. You’ll only hear from me and only twice a month. 

Louie loves STEM at home activities

Be the smartest person!

I’ll share news about future science, new species, show you how to do science at home with your kids, find the best books and more. You’ll only hear from me and only twice a month, tops.

CRISPR IS LIFE-CHANGING
Louie will be so happy!

Don’t miss out on More Cool Science! Subscribe for twice monthly articles. Thanks so much.