We’re only about a decade away from sending humans to Mars, but cognitive scientist Konrad Szocik says it’s unlikely humans could survive on the Red Planet without a body modification.
In the review Space Policy, cognitive scientist Konrad Szocik of the University of Information Technology and Management, Poland, publishes a discouraging study about the survivability of a human colony on Mars. According to him, the simulations carried out on Earth or in the ISS can in no way prepare man for the Martian challenges.
» We cannot simulate the same physical and environmental conditions to reconstruct the Martian environment as characteristics such as Martian microgravity or radiation exposure. Therefore, we cannot predict the physical and biological effects of humans living on Mars. “, he notes.
According to Konrad Szocik, the Martian environment is not compatible with human psychology and physiology. » My idea is that the human body and mind are adapted to live in the earthly environment. Therefore, some particular physiological and psychological challenges during travel and then during life on Mars are likely to be too difficult for human beings to survive. »
He mentions in particular the cases of Scott Kelly (American astronaut) and Mikhail Kornienko, (Russian cosmonaut) who spent the longest stay on board the International Space Station. Today, the two men still suffer from the physiological consequences that this stay had on their bodies. For the Polish scientist, a trip to Mars would be much worse for the astronauts, who would also know the low probability of returning to Earth.
» These first astronauts will be aware that after the year-long journey, they will have to live on Mars for at least several years or possibly their entire lives, as their return will most likely be technologically impossible. Maybe these early colonizers will know their mission is a one-way trip “, he explains.
For him and his team, bodily or genetic modifications will be necessary for the survival of a human colony on the red planet. They suggest what seems to them to be the best solution: the artificial acceleration of the biological evolution of the astronauts before they begin their mission. » Permanent solutions like genetic and/or surgical modification could make colonists able to survive on Mars in ways that unmodified humans cannot. « .
At the dawn of departures to Mars, many questions still arise and to guarantee their success, none can be neglected.