KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Recently, a not-for-profit organization known as Mars One released the list of 1,058 applicants who could be selected for colonization on Mars.
Over 200,000 applications were said to have been received by the organization, which aims to “establish human life on Martian soil.”
“We’re extremely appreciative and impressed with the sheer number of people who submitted their applications,” Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdorp was quoted as saying in a press release. “However, the challenge with 200,000 applicants is separating those who we feel are physically and mentally adept to become human ambassadors on Mars from those who are obviously taking the mission much less seriously.”
Those in the former category may want to read a new report regarding the effects of outer space on the human body, however, which states that being in outer space could cause long-term health problems.
The report, which was first published in the New York Times, cites multiple negative effects of outer space on the human body, including the swelling that occurs in the human head – due in part to the fact that humans did not evolve outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.
“Your head actually feels bloated,” Mark E. Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut who flew in space four times, was quoted as saying. “It kind of feels like you would feel if you hung upside down for a couple of minutes.”
Brittle bones, insomnia, loss of appetite and radiation poisoning – which could lead to cancer – were all cited in the report as health complications suffered by former astronauts or that could plague future recruits.
The lack of gravity is also said to negatively affect the body’s neurovestibular system, leaving astronauts with a weakened ability to, literally, determine which way is up. Dizziness is also an issue, according to those who have endured it.
“If you tilt your head a little left or right… it feels like you’re going end over end,” Kelly noted to the Times.
Mars One will eliminate all but four candidates – who will be sent to live on Mars for the remainder of their lives – through a series of tests and training exercises that will determine who among them would be best suited for the mission.
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