Going to Mars is a dangerous and exciting adventure. Astronaut training takes years, and a flight to the Red Planet can take more than seven months. The exploration of Mars requires high qualifications, willpower, endurance and a willingness to take risks.
According to the study, the optimal candidate for a flight to Mars is a woman. Back in the 1950s, NASA put forward the Lovelace Woman in Space program, which justified the choice of women for space flight. A recent study confirmed these arguments, noting that women have more suitable physical characteristics for spaceflight.
The main advantages of women include smaller body size and weight, which reduces the need for oxygen and calories. They are also less prone to heart attacks and radiation, making them more resistant to risk in space. Their bodies have a more isolated reproductive system, which reduces exposure to radiation.
The study also found that women consume fewer resources and have lower requirements for food, oxygen, water and energy. With this in mind, and in order to conserve resources on Mars, where every kilogram of cargo counts, female astronauts may be the best choice for the first landings on the planet.
The researchers found that for male astronauts, one body size is more than enough to significantly increase all metrics: total energy expenditure increases by 30 percent, oxygen consumption increases by 60 percent, carbon dioxide production increases by 60 percent, and water demand increases by 17 percent.
The female astronauts performed much better across the board as their body size increased, with the most important metrics decreasing by 30 percent. When translated into average male and female height, there is a 41 percent reduction in nutritional and oxygen production requirements.
In addition, women are highly adaptable to various conditions, which makes them ideal candidates for exploring space objects. Their mental toughness and ability to work in a team are also valuable qualities.
Of course, assigning an all-female crew to Mars will not be an easy decision, especially given that the modern space industry is still a predominantly male field. However, if we really aspire to go to Mars and establish a human colony there, then we need to reconsider our ideas about what crews should be and what abilities they should have.
The study is published in Scientific Reports.
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