There are some who see Mars as a frontier of freedom and prosperity—the next home for humans. But the true Mars is a failing world, harsh cold, bone dry, and with a toxic landscape. Although we might soon have the means to get there, living there is an entirely different thing.
Earth and Mars come closer together every 780 days or so. This is the best time to observe the Red Planet. It appears to slow down, backtrack, and then speed forward again. This behavior has puzzled observers for years to the point that earlier civilizations thought Mars was a god— a quick, impulsive, volatile one at that.
It would take a chemical rocket nearly seven months to reach Mars. Nuclear thermo rockets of the future could cut that time down to three months, but even that amount of time is too long to keep astronauts confined to a spacecraft.
As it is, astronauts in micro gravity must exercise regularly because the bones can become brittle and the heart muscles can weaken. So it’s very likely that Mars’ gravity would affect human health in the long run.
Filmmakers have been obsessed with the idea of Mars for many years and although some of the plots have been a little out there, they could have gotten a few things right. Find out more.