The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wants 10 more test subjects to perform a year onboard the International Space Station (ISS) before shipping people to Mars. The agency has plans to get humans to Mars in the 2030s, amid it, there is a lot more research to be done first. The main problem NASA faces is how the journey to Mars will harm humans. It is estimated that it would take humans around nine months to get to Mars.
During the expedition, astronauts would be constantly bombarded from radiation from the Sun after leaving planet Earth’s protective atmosphere. After leaving the atmosphere, there is no protection from the radiation in space. After leaving the atmosphere, the lack of gravity will affect the body, as it can cause difficulty with blood flow and muscle atrophy.
So, NASA wants at least 10 more astronauts to spend a year onboard the ISS to analyze how its astronauts will cope. “We really could do much more. We’re ready to do more because we have 20 years of really good datasets.” Julie Robinson, NASA’s chief scientist for the ISS Program, said.
There are only two people, currently, who have spent around a year on the ISS: NASA’s Scott Kelly lived there from March 2015 until the same month the following year and the other was Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko who spent 342 days. After them, Peggy Whitson is the next longest on 289 continuous days on the ISS.
Robinson said: “What we’re saying now is we want to really bump that up a notch and add 10 more subjects to that US database.” Following the first all-female spacewalk, the agency’s chiefs have recently announced the first humans on Mars could be women.
The agencies astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir became the first women to complete an all-female spacewalk on October 19. The expedition’s task was replacing an ISS power controller that had failed.