(Mirror Daily, United States) – Are you really ready to go to Mars? This is the question that the candidates for the newly opened astronaut positions at NASA should ask themselves before applying. And while the idea of being among the first people to set foot on the Red Planet is more than appealing, people should keep in mind that the Mars expedition will be nothing like the Matt Damon movie.
NASA is hiring the new generation of astronauts and according to a representative, one member of this class will be a part of the Mars expedition. There are only sixteen jobs available but there are already thousands of candidates. And the requirements are harsh. The candidates must have a bachelor degree in sciences, military background and perfect social skills just to be considered for an interview.
But the main question on the interviewer’s lips will be “Are you really ready to go to Mars?”
The idea of visiting the Red Planet is thrilling, to say the least, but before arriving there, one must survive the trip towards Mars. NASA estimates that the journey will take approximately six months. Scott Kelly has been aboard the ISS for almost a year, so we know that it is possible to survive in space for an extended period of time.
But Scott Kelly received supplies on a regular basis from Florida and Kazakhstan. And while his overall health was not affected in any way, his motivation was raised by the fact that he had access to the internet and knew that it would take approximately an hour to receive something from the base in case of an emergency. These things will not apply to the crew traveling towards Mars.
Also, the ship could be hit by a meteor or a stray space object with no determined trajectory. There are a lot of risks revolving around just the journey there. So if you think about the trip and still answer yes when you ask yourself “Are you really ready to go to Mars?” then let’s talk landing.
NASA already managed to land the rovers on the Red Planet’s surface, so the actual landing is possible. But the settlers will face a lot of difficulties, for example, the radiation, the high amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the dust, the cold and the extremely low atmospheric pressure.
According to a new study, the astronauts that will land on Mars will have to construct their base underground in order to escape from the fatal solar radiation. Also, they will have to have tremendous amounts of oxygen supply with them because it would take a while for plants to grow and filter the carbon dioxide inside the settlement.
The dust, as seen in The Martian, is very fine and it could do tremendous amounts of damage to the settlement and the equipment. The researchers at NASA are not yet sure how the dust will affect the astronauts or how dangerous it could really prove to be.
Also, the average temperature on the planet’s surface balances from a pleasant 27 Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) to a bone-chilling, Jack Nicholson freezing -143 Celsius (-225 degrees Fahrenheit). So the team must be ready to learn how to fix the heating.
The atmospheric pressure is so low that, according to NASA scientists, a person’s body water would evaporate if the individual is not wearing the protection suit.
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