Flying to Mars Could Be Fatal for Humans. It Is Possible That This Organ Cannot Withstand It

Flying to Mars Could Be Fatal for Humans. It Is Possible That This Organ Cannot Withstand It

Scientists simulated a space flight to the red planet and discovered that it could pose a danger to the health of astronauts.

The idea of flying to Mars has captivated science fiction authors, scientists and space aviation for decades. Reaching the red planet requires an exceptionally powerful rocket and a significant amount of time. However, traveling to Mars presents another critical challenge that humans may struggle to overcome.

An international team of researchers, led by University College London (UCL), conducted a series of experiments to examine how the human body responds to long-duration space flights. The findings were concerning: the kidneys are particularly vulnerable to damage from extended time in space.

The scientists utilized 20 research teams composed of both humans and mice, most of whom were based on the International Space Station (ISS). The mice were exposed to simulated cosmic radiation and other conditions mimicking the effects of 1.5 and 2.5-year missions to Mars. The experiments revealed that space conditions cause changes in the kidneys of both humans and animals. After just one month in space, the renal tubules begin to deform, posing serious risks to the crew members' health.


When astronauts launch into low Earth orbit, they are still protected by Earth's magnetic field. But if they fly further away, they become vulnerable to the negative effects of the space environment. Scientists suggest that the probable cause of these negative changes in the kidneys is not cosmic radiation but microgravity. However, more research is needed to confirm this hypothesis.

"We must develop new ways to protect the kidneys. Otherwise, even if an astronaut can reach Mars, they will need dialysis on the way back," emphasized one of the scientists. "As we learn more about kidney biology, it will be possible to develop technological or pharmaceutical means to facilitate longer space journeys," he added.

Nonetheless, human travel to Maris is still several years away, with NASA aiming for a manned mission potentially in the 2030s. The Artemis program that aims to return to humans to the Moon by 2025, will provide essential experience and technology for future Mars missions.