UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
How deadly is Mars?
Answer 1:

It could be very dangerous to live on Mars. One of the major dangers of sending humans into space is damage caused by radiation. Radiation is basically sub-atomic particles that transport energy, and when these particles hit human bodies it can be very harmful to our cells and our DNA. Earth’s magnetic field protects us from radiation, but scientists are currently working to develop ways to protect humans and spacecrafts from radiation in deep space. Of course, there are always dangers involved in something as extreme as sending people into space, but there are a lot of competent scientists who dedicate their careers keeping astronauts safe.

Answer 2:

Mars is further away from the sun than earth, so it's much colder there. If you just arrived on the surface of Mars, you would die. The temperature can change a lot more than on earth, with July being the hottest month at 36F (2 Celsius) on average, and getting to an average cold of -126F (-88C) in the winter! Just the temperature alone would make Mars deadly!

Answer 3:

Mars isn't as deadly as Venus, which is too hot for us. People would need space suits on Mars, and they would need to build a place to live that would make air for them to breathe and would purify the air before it got too much carbon dioxide, and the place would need to recycle its water and grow food and make the things that the people needed, to live for a long time.

There's a place called Biosphere 2 in Arizona where people have been trying to live completely isolated from the rest of earth. In 1988, one person lived for 3 days in Biosphere 2, with all his air and water recycled. He ate food grown in Biosphere 2, but of course the food would need to have been grown before he went there. That's a problem with Mars, where there wouldn't be any food when people arrived, and they would need to stay a long time, or forever. In 1989, a woman lived in Biosphere 2 for 21 days; and then 8 people moved there in 1991, but there was a big storm on earth and the skies were gray, so there wasn't as much sunlight for photosynthesis, and the carbon dioxide levels in Biosphere 2 increased too much. You can read more about Biosphere 2 in Wikipedia and here:


Answer 4:

Some life could exist on Mars, and there may even be life on Mars. Most Earth life simply could not live there. If you were to travel to Mars, you would need a space suit, much as if you were walking on the moon. We don't know yet if Martian gravity is strong enough to keep a (space-suited) human healthy.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use