Mars is a hot topic right now, humans being close to laying the foundation of their first outer world colony. As expected, Hollywood started monetizing the concept, creating a romanticized image of the Red Planet. However, contrary to current beliefs, the biggest problems colonists will face will have nothing to do with fecal matter and potato farming as they’ll be too busy trying not to die while blood literally boils in their veins.
From low pressure to toxic dust and cosmic radiation, here are the deadliest elements Mars colonists will have to face once they survive their trip towards the Red Planet.
Mars has almost no atmosphere, no magnetic field, nothing that could deflect solar particles and high-energy cosmic rays. As a result, any human who steps on the Martian surface without wearing adequate protection can die within weeks after initial exposure. Even more, radiation tends to gather around areas rich in hydrogen, so it’s likely the future colony will attract deadly space rays.
The hottest summer day on the Red Planet is equivalent to a pleasant spring afternoon in Minnesota, maximum temperatures not surpassing 70 degrees Fahrenheit. On a regular day, a Mars colonist will have to endure minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit coupled with strong winds and dust storms.
Speaking of dust storms, the fine red sand that gave birth to Mars’ moniker is highly toxic. Moreover, the fine, abrasive particles can cause severe and permanent damage to human lungs, killing an individual in a matter of weeks after exposure.
One of the main reasons why humans are frantically looking for a new home is the increasingly high levels of carbon dioxide in the air. Nevertheless, the compound makes up approximately 1 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere, oxygen and nitrogen taking up the rest of the space. By comparison, the Red Planet’s thin atmosphere is made out of 95 percent carbon dioxide.
Without a steady source of oxygen and an efficient way to convert carbon dioxide into breathable air, colonists will meet their maker in a couple of minutes, hypoxia killing them swiftly and almost painlessly.
Compared to what Mark Whalberg’s character had to endure in the movie, The Martian, reality is a lot more terrifying, the first team of colonists facing high odds of never returning home.
Image Source: Wikipedia