Long-Term Mars Mission

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Introduction

In the twenty-first century, there has been an increasing focus on potential Mars mission. Scientists intend to launch the first successful landing on planet Mars and explore the new environment. It is exciting for many astronauts who are looking forward to the successful Mars mission. However, studies demonstrate that there are numerous challenges that may serve to delay the mission. Some of the challenges may make it difficult for the astronauts to survive on the new planet. It is imperative to explore the challenges to developing potential solutions. This paper will discuss some of the environmental risks associated with the long-term Mars mission.

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Power Sources

One of the outstanding setbacks in the Mars mission is the availability of power to make the mission possible. Researchers have considered potential power sources that may prove effective in providing sufficient energy for the entire journey. Many of the astronauts believe that solar power will be the leading source of energy. However, there are specific concerns associated with the utilization of solar power in a foreign planet. Many of the studies are yet to demonstrate the possibility of generating solar power that can sustain the mission. On the other hand, the possibility of using generator power has received attention in the recent past. Research indicates that it is possible to utilize a small and portable generator that will power the journey to mass. Astronauts are exploring the sustainability and reliability of using a generator to power the Mars mission.

Radiological Environment

According to recent studies, it is explicit that the level of radiation on planet mass is higher than the radiation levels on earth. Particularly, life on earth is possible because of the magnetic shield that protects human beings from potential radiation. On Mars, radiation is a reality that astronauts will need to handle. Landing on Mars is likely to expose the spacecraft to high levels of radiation that can break the bones of materials forming the spacecraft. On the other hand, the astronauts risk the exposure to excessive radiation that is likely to affect their lifespan. There is evidence demonstrating that the exposure to excessive radiation reduces the lifespan significantly and triggers the development of numerous health complications. It is clear that researchers need to develop specific ways of dealing with the excessive radiation on Mars.

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Crew Comfort

The comfort of crewmembers is an issue that deserves priority when considering the potential success of the mars mission. Notably, it would be important to ensure that the crewmembers experience a measure of comfort as they explore a new planet. Mental stimulation is one of the factors that will determine the comfort of the crew. If the crewmembers are mentally stimulated, they are likely to overcome most of the challenges and focus on the core objectives of the mission. However, promoting mental stimulation for the crewmembers is not an easy task considering the number of risks associated with the journey. There is a need to put in place measures that can stimulate the crewmembers mentally and make them comfortable throughout the trip. A long-term mass mission is likely to pose numerous challenges to the crewmembers, a factor that may discourage them. As a result, mental stimulation is critically important to enhance the success of the mission. Additionally, the crewmembers will need room to exercise. Notably, exercise represents one of the critical components for promoting a healthy lifestyle. On a long-term mass mission, the crewmembers need a provision for regular exercise that will enhance their motivation and focus on the core objectives. Exercise will help the crew members relieve the stress they experience in different parts of the mission. Researchers need to develop potential solutions for creating the necessary factors to stimulate crewmembers and provide them with an opportunity to exercise.

Communication

Communication will be an important aspect of the Mars mission. Particularly, the crewmembers will need to sustain a reliable form of communication with their families. Many families will face increasing levels of anxiety concerning the mass mission and will need the assurance from the crewmembers established through open communication channels. Researchers working on the Mars mission intend to establish an effective communication channel that will help the astronauts to communicate with their families. However, the most important form of communication concerns the mission control. For the spacecraft to launch into space and land on Mars successfully, it will need the direction of experienced individuals controlling the entire mission. The astronauts in the spacecraft will need directions on the space to take to increase the chances of survival and success. For the mission control to be successful, the organizers of the mass mission will need to install remarkable communication programs that will remain sustainable. It has proven to be a great challenge experienced by experts in this field who do not have specific measures for controlling the mission.

Crew Health

It is imperative to consider crew health as a significant concept in preparation for a successful Mars mission. Undoubtedly, the crewmembers will exhibit medical needs that will need addressing during the mission. Scholars have highlighted some of the preventive measures that will provide practical solutions that can meet the health needs of the people. It may be difficult to meet a person’s medical needs during a space mission. The psychological needs of the people also need consideration. The Mars mission may compel the crewmembers to undergo an excessive emotional strain that is likely to trigger psychological problems. As a result, there must be a proper plan for handling the psychological needs to enhance the health of the people successfully.

Solar

Solar is one of the critical considerations that will determine the success of the Mars mission. Experts in this field have sought to establish specific data that will help in decision-making on the best period to launch the Mars mission. Particularly, there are periods that are likely to be safer for launching the mission depending on the human understanding of space missions. The solar minimum period represents the duration of reduced solar activity that will pose a major challenge to astronauts. The solar minimum period will translate to increased levels of radiation from the sun. With few solar cycles, the astronauts are likely to be at risk of exposure to excessive radiation. However, the solar maximum period is much safer for launching the Mars mission. With increased solar activity, the sun is likely to emit limited levels of radiation, making the crewmembers safe. It is only safe to launch the space mission during the solar maximum period. Over the years, the need to understand the risks associated with solar maximum and minimum have driven the direction of research in this sector.

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Mars Atmosphere

Landing on Mars will be an exciting experience for the crewmembers. However, the landing will expose them to numerous hazards that may harm their lives. Particularly, some of the hazards will include space radiation and the excessive radiation on Mars. The gravity levels on Mars may also trigger certain hazards. The survival of food plants is an additional aspect that determines whether Mars has a habitable atmosphere. The temperatures on Mars may be unbearable for the astronauts. The frozen water available on the planet also serves as an additional hazard that the researchers need to address. Undoubtedly, it is almost impossible to explore the hazards available on planet Mars. Some studies have demonstrated that the astronauts will need to develop different strategies to counter various setbacks.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, the Mars mission will represent one of the greatest projects launched by scholars and astronauts. However, the mission will only be successful if there are solutions developed for each of the setbacks described above. Recent research has focused on developing solutions to address radiation challenges and enhance the levels of crew comfort. Moreover, other scholars have focused on analyzing the Mars atmosphere and its associated hazards to mitigate them. Future research should focus on addressing these challenges and promoting the safety of the crewmembers and spacecraft. Assessing the risks associated with the mars mission is a critical step in preparation for a life-altering project.

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  1. Aldrin, Buzz, and Leonard David. Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2013.
  2. Branley, Franklyn M, and True Kelley. Mission to Mars. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.
  3. Cattermole, Peter. Mars: The Story of the Red Planet. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2012.
  4. Ehrenfried, Manfred . Exploring the Martian Moons: A Human Mission to Deimos and Phobos. Cham: Springer, 2017.
  5. Genta, G. Next Stop Mars: The Why, How, and When of Human Missions. Cham : Springer, 2017.
  6. Horneck, Gerda. Space Life Sciences: Missions to Mars, Radiation Biology, and Plants As a Foundation for Long-Term Life Support Systems in Space ; Refereed Papers from the F0.1 and F1.3 – F2.3 Symposia of Cospar Scientific Commission F Which Were Held During the Thirty-Third Cospar Scientific Assembly, Warsaw, Poland, July 2000. Oxford [u.a.: Pergamon, 2003.
  7. Lee, Pascal. Mission: Mars. New York : Scholastic, 2013.
  8. Pyle, Rod. Mars: The Next Frontier.  Munich: Andre Deutsch, 2016.
  9. Rapp, Donald. Human Missions to Mars: Enabling Technologies for Exploring the Red Planet. Cham : Springer, 2016.
  10. Rapp, Donald. Use of Extraterrestrial Resources for Human Space Missions to Moon or Mars. Berlin: Springer, 2013.
  11. Seedhouse, Erik. Martian Outpost: The Challenges of Establishing a Human Settlement on Mars. Berlin: Springer, 2009.
  12. Shayler, David, Andrew Salmon, and Michael D. Shayler. Marswalk One: First Steps on a New Planet. Berlin: Springer, 2005.
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