Space enthusiasts planning a move to Mars may have to wait to relocate: conditions on the Red Planet are such that humans would likely begin dying within 68 days, a new study says.
Oxygen levels would start to deplete after about two months and scientists said new technologies are required before humans can permanently settle on Mars, according to the study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The five-person team used data from Mars One, a Dutch-based non-profit group behind an audacious project to permanently colonize the Red Planet starting in 2024.
A shortlist of more than 1,000 people from an initial pool of 200,000 applicants will be whittled down to 24 for the mission — an irreversible move to Mars, which is to be partially funded by a reality television show about the endeavor.
But conditions on Mars — and the limits of human technology — could make the mission impossible, for now at least.
“The first crew fatality would occur approximately 68 days into the mission,” according to the 35-page report, which analyzed mathematical formulas on oxygen, food and technology required for the project.
Plants required to feed the space colony would produce “unsafe” amounts of oxygen, the authors said.
“Some form of oxygen removal system is required, a technology that has not yet been developed for space flight,” the study concluded.