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Mars Colonization: Will Humans Have To Upgrade Their Bodies, Resort To Human Cloning?

First Posted: Mar 21, 2017 06:59 AM EDT
Mars Colonization
Can humans survive in the hostile conditions of Mars?
(Photo : Mars One/YouTube screenshot)

A human mission to Mars is not a far-fetched dream with various nations and private organizations planning their own itineraries. However, living on the Red Planet and colonizing it is hugely different from just stepping on its soil. The planet -- its atmosphere, environment and ambience -- is not only completely hostile for human habitation, but living there would also mean a tremendous psychological and physical toll on humans.

In a study published in the journal Space Policy, Polish cognitive scientist Konard Szocik from Rzeszow’s University of Information Technology and Management has raised an argument that just training the astronauts in the International Space Station (ISS) is inadequate for humans to survive on Mars. Moreover, according to the scientist, human bodies need to be changed drastically to endure life on the Red Planet.

According to Szocik, the first group of astronauts on Mars can suffer from a severe psychological damage even after undergoing a training that sets them through an utmost psychological examination and conditioning -- such as the one NASA is currently conducting. At present, the American Space Agency’s promising experiment HI-SEAS has a small crew sealed inside a dome near Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano, to simulate the Red Planet’s conditions.

Other experiments that have been proposed to prepare humans for Mars mission include putting the astronauts into coma before their journey to Mars. According to researchers, such a step will help in decreasing energy lack, protect muscle disintegration in astronauts and save their body from extreme space radiation. The Marshalltown reported that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has suggested removing the gall bladder and appendix of astronauts on Mars mission, to maintain their safety because surgery can not only be unpleasant but also impossible in the event of bursts.

Szocik has argued that no amount of preparation can make humans ready to survive on the Red Planet for a long term. “I think that medicine can be insufficient and that there will be necessary some permanent solutions like genetical and/or surgical modifications,” Szocik said. The scientist has also added that mankind should use the idea of transhumanism to survive in environments vastly different from Earth.

In addition, since mankind still does not know how the human reproduction will be affected by reduced gravity and radiation, nor can humans maintain a human colony on Mars without inbreeding unless tons of people are sent to Mars. Thus, Szocik has suggested this, thinking about an opportunity of human cloning.

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