Earth and Mars

Earth and Mars

What physical challenges would people face during a long-term, deep-space mission to Mars?


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Earth Science, Astronomy, Geography

Scientists and engineers estimate it will take about eight months for a Mars mission to travel to the red planet. What impact will eight months in microgravity have on astronauts and explorers?

Existing research on personnel deployed to the International Space Station suggests that time spent in microgravity causes significant changes to human physiology. So, scientists planning Mars missions are faced with big challenges: how to protect the human body during the months-long journey to Mars and ensure astronauts are in good physical condition upon arrival.

These challenges must be met before humans can undertake a journey to explore Mars.

Media Credits

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Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Caryl-Sue Micalizio, National Geographic Society
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Caryl-Sue Micalizio, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

April 4, 2024

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