Mars Sucks

You Really Don’t Want To Go There

Mars sucks. It’s a terrible place for humans to visit, much less colonize. Mars is a desiccated irradiated hell-hole that promises to slaughter anyone foolish enough to go there. If the planet doesn’t kill you outright, just the stress of surviving its horrors will likely mentally scar you for life. Our under-rated Moon suffers from its own share of faults. It’s no paradise. But compared to colonizing Mars, it’s an amble on the beach. We should focus on it, not Mars.

The Voyage and Some Initial Ways To Die

The first way Mars sucks is the health impact of simply getting there. The trip will take about 7 months, during which the isolated crew will float around in a metal tube hurtling through space, drinking recycled urine and trying not to get on each other’s nerves. The psychological pressures will be enormous. The floating part will suck too, as the hazards of long-duration weightlessness are well-documented: loss of muscle mass, bone demineralization, diminished cardiac function, immune system depression, and neurological impacts. No matter how much you exercise or how much freeze-dried broccoli you choke down, your body will slowly degenerate in this alien environment. Stay weightless long enough and you’ll become as weak as a kitten. That’s why astronauts who return from long-duration stays in orbit are such a mess. They often have difficulty walking, much less conquering new planets. Afterward they’re susceptible to problems with balance, fatigue and bone fractures. Sometimes it takes several years for full function to return.

The Arrival and Some More Ways To Die

What Happens To All The Dead People?

Have you ever wondered what happens to the dead on Mars? Well, it ain’t pretty. The average temperature on Mars is -60C and humidity hovers microscopically just above zero. The surface is basically a vacuum (remember: 1% the pressure of Earth), which means exposed bodies quickly sublimate all available moisture. Furthermore, Mars lacks the self-respect to maintain even a minimal magnetic field. That means that much of the radiation you felt in space follows you right to the surface, scouring dead carcasses as they dehydrate. The result is a Martian mummy, drier than beef jerky and just about as edible. It would look like a supersized prune and hardly recognizable as human, aside from the teeth grinning inside the blackened skull. Photos of that will look great in recruitment brochures. Come to Mars! I did!

Yet More Ways To Die

Due to its lack of a magnetic field, the surface of Mars isn’t safe. To escape the radiation explorers will have to build massively thick domes or move underground. As a result, people won’t live on Mars, they’ll live inside of it. That doesn’t sound so romantic, does it? The colonists will become human mole-rats, scurrying around in the subterranean Martian darkness and praying that their filthy little rat habitat never springs a leak and adds their bodies to the growing mummy collection on the surface.

To The Rescue: Our Lovely Moon

Now let’s compare this to the Moon.

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