Want to immigrate to Mars? First think about how to solve these three psychological/physiological problems.

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 Want to immigrate to Mars? First think about how to solve these three psychological/physiological problems.


In the movie Star Crossing, astronauts often argue because of disagreement, and even fight on the outer planet. Pictures from the Internet

Although scientists are still struggling to find ways to protect astronauts from space radiation and reduce the impact of zero gravity on their bodies, the social and psychological barriers faced by astronauts have also become the focus of discussion at a recent conference in London.

According to a recent report on the Daily Telegraph website, space experts warned that the time difference between planets and the personality of astronauts may be the biggest obstacle to migrating to Mars.

Time difference between planets

Dr. Federico Caprotti, organizer of the conference and University of Exeter, UK, said: The biggest obstacle to immigrating to Mars is not technology, but psychology.

Firstly, there is a problem of time difference between planets. The journey to Mars takes about 400 days. The journey is long and lacks instant communication with the Earth, because the signal transmission takes 4-24 minutes, so the psychological impact will be enormous, Caprotti further clarified.

At the International Space Station, mission controllers use special lighting to simulate day-to-night shifts to maintain human physiological rhythms, but astronauts still complain of jet lag on their way back to Earth.

The jet lag response on arrival on Mars may be more severe. A Martian day is 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds, which is not much different from what happens on Earth, but is equivalent to two time zones flying westward every three days.

Previously, NASA Mars Detector controllers had tried to work on planetary time, but the results showed that the way of working was exhausting and many people gave up.

In response, Caprotti added that the plasma engine in the experimental stage could significantly shorten the journey. It is reported that Ed Astra Rocket Company is currently designing and developing an engine called Vasimr, which uses plasma as propellant to convert hydrogen, helium or deuterium into plasma gas by current. When these plasma gases are heated to 11 million degrees Celsius, the magnetic field will guide them into the exhaust pipe, thus driving the spacecraft. Propelled by this rocket, a spacecraft bound for Mars or the Moon can reach a maximum speed of 55 kilometers per second.

Former NASA astronaut Zhang Fulin, CEO of NASA, has said that it currently expects to take about three years to travel to and from Mars, including 18 months of forced stay on Mars, while the new engine will shorten the travel time from Earth to Mars to 39 days.

Its difficult for astronauts to get along with each other

Those familiar with the American TV series Big Bang of Life are certainly impressed by one of the plots: Howard Warowitz, one of the male masters, was bullied by other astronauts during his mission to the International Space Station, and he was frightened by the execution of the mission. As the saying goes, there are rivers and lakes where people live, and astronauts have difficulty getting along with each other at the International Space Station, which is relatively close to the Earth; in the high-pressure and closed environment of the long journey to Mars, it may be more difficult for astronauts to get along well with each other.

Research reports can be used as evidence: although astronauts have undergone comprehensive social competence tests, up to half of astronauts still encounter personality problems incompatible with other astronauts.

Although space agencies such as NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) currently use pre-mission psychological tests to ensure that astronauts can get along well, 40-50% of mission reports show that there is friction between astronauts.

Dr. Steven Palmer, who studies space and Antarctica at the University of Exeter, said: This will be a major issue in the Mars intervention mission.

Weve also heard that on a mission in a remote part of the planet, people paint walls with colors that other people dont like, causing resentment and undermining team cohesion, Palmer said.

Many people believe that Mars missions should be managed bynatural leaders, but agencies such as the British Antarctic Exploration Agency have found that these missions may require compromising people, he said.

The psychological questions posed by long-range space missions are unanswerable to current knowledge of space science, Caprotti said. For example, the International Space Station mission allows astronauts to return to Earth quickly, so they feel psychologically close to the Earth, but the Mars mission can not do this. When they think of Mars, they think of the horrible long journey, which will cause great psychological pressure.

The consequences of physical changes should not be overlooked.

In addition, the impact of space travel on the human body is also a matter of great concern to mission controllers. Now we know that microgravity affects metabolism, heat regulation, heart rhythm, muscle tension, bone mineral density and respiratory system.

In 2016, U.S. researchers found that astronauts entering deep space for lunar missions were five times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who went into low orbit or never left Earth. In 2017, Russian scientists discovered that deep space travel could bring about astonishing changes to the human immune system. If exposed to viruses, astronauts would be unable to resist even minor illnesses such as common cold. Although there are many difficulties and problems in exploring Mars and performing other deep space missions, high-end scientific exploration and experiments have always been accompanied by unknowns, risks and dangers since ancient times. Many scientists are warriors who know that there are tigers in the mountains and prefer to travel in the mountains. Moreover, we also look forward to technological breakthroughs and progress to better escort deep space exploration. (Science and Technology Daily, Beijing, January 21) This article is from: Science and Technology Daily - Responsible Editor of China Science and Technology Network: Wang Fengzhi_NT2541

In 2016, U.S. researchers found that astronauts entering deep space for lunar missions were five times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who went into low orbit or never left Earth.

In 2017, Russian scientists discovered that deep space travel could bring about astonishing changes to the human immune system. If exposed to viruses, astronauts would be unable to resist even minor illnesses such as common cold.

Although there are many difficulties and problems in exploring Mars and performing other deep space missions, high-end scientific exploration and experiments have always been accompanied by unknowns, risks and dangers since ancient times. Many scientists are warriors who know that there are tigers in the mountains and prefer to travel in the mountains. Moreover, we also look forward to technological breakthroughs and progress to better escort deep space exploration.

(Science and Technology Daily, Beijing, January 21)