• Question: Is Martian possible?

    Asked by abrahamsonc to Rochelle, Michaela, Camilla, Beth, Adrian on 25 Jan 2016. This question was also asked by iaaukadmin.
    • Photo: Camilla Weiss

      Camilla Weiss answered on 25 Jan 2016:

      If you’re talking about the film The Martian then there are lots of elements that may be possible in the future. I think we definitely have the capability to set up a human base on Mars in the near future, although I don’t think it would be quite as fancy as the one in the film to begin with – life would be hard! There were a few things the film (and book) exaggerated for dramatic (awesome) effect – for example, there’s not much atmosphere on Mars which means the big storm at the beginning with gale force winds wouldn’t be an issue for an astronaut so you wouldn’t get blown away like that. They didn’t really talk much about the problem of radiation either – because Mars has very little atmosphere and no global magnetic field there’s nothing to protect humans from the being bombarded by all the radiation from space and the sun which means that without some serious shielding you’d be getting ill pretty quickly. We also wouldn’t be able to travel in such a cool spaceship, not yet anyway. The one in The Martian was a spinning spacecraft which means that it created a kind of artificial gravity on board. This is technically possible but I’m not sure we’re there from an engineering point of view yet.

      Still – I’m very excited to watch what happens when humans venturing to Mars!