Living on Mars: What Would it be Like?
Living on Mars: What Would it be Like?

In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.

The Mars One mission to Mars—one-way—has attracted more than 78,000 applicants only two weeks into the application process.

So, if the mission is successful, what’s it going to be like for those who are chosen to go? 

Is it Dangerous?

“Mars is no picnic.” —Mars One website

“There will be risks.” —Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and CEO of Mars One

Life is comparable to getting by on Antarctica, with similar challenges, according to the Mars One website. The average temperature is -50 degrees Celsius (-58 F). The Mars settlement will develop in a similar fashion to the way research bases and living facilities have developed on the frigid continent. 

The base will use solar panels to get power, and will recycle as much material as possible. The production of oxygen and water will begin immediately after the astronauts land, as stored resources won’t last forever or even that long. The astronauts will work on extracting water from the soil, and they can produce oxygen by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. A device similar to a portable greenhouse will be used to grow food. 

As the base grows, with four more people coming every two years, the Mars settlers will have to figure out how to manufacture supplies themselves. Two examples include finding a method to construct additional places to live, and obtaining or building a machine that makes plastic. 

Living on Mars is not without risk—a key part of the settlement could break, and an astronaut might not survive if his or her Mars Suit were to get seriously damaged in a mission outside of the buildings. Also, certain unspecified medical conditions aren’t treatable on Mars (though some medical hazards likely don’t exist there). 

Daily Living

Astronauts will do three main forms of work:


Construction includes making the new settlement comfortable to live in, putting in corridors between the preliminary buildings, and putting up extra solar panels. Construction includes spending time inside the greenhouses tending to plants, and cooking. 


This includes making sure all the systems are working and checking them regularly.


Mars One staff expect to find a way to construct buildings using “mostly Martian materials” in order to “significantly expand the settlement.” Other research includes finding out the wet and dry periods, as well as collecting data to beam back to other researchers back on Earth.

Besides work, astronauts will have leisure and personal time. During this time, they can do indoor activities that are common on earth, including reading, playing games, and using the internet. The mission plans to have internet available, but there will be a time delay, so they need to request the movies and news broadcasts they want to see in advance.

The Mars One site explains: “Easy Internet access will be limited to their preferred sites that are constantly updated on the local Mars web server. Other websites will take between 6 and 45 minutes to appear on their screen—first, 3-22 minutes for your click to reach Earth, and then another 3-22 minutes for the website data to reach Mars. Contacting friends at home is possible by video, voice or text message (e-mail, WhatsApp, sms), but real time dialogue is not possible, because of the time delay.”

Other Facts

—Astronauts will have 15 days of stored water (which will be recycled); the recycled water being enough for 150 days if usage is limited

—Exercises machines will be chosen after around a decade of testing to see which machines will help astronauts to meet the need for strenuous movement in space, to prevent physical deterioration because of zero gravity. 

—The astronauts will decide among themselves how to organize into small-groups and make sure reasonable decision-making happens

—Mars One encourages religious freedom 

—The first settlers are strongly advised not to have children on the planet, because it would cause multiple complications. In the future there will be a need for children. 

  • Mona Berrier

    I don’t understand why people can’t come back. Presumably the transport vehicles will be returning for more colonists, so why couldn’t they bring people back? Some of the volunteers will probably change their minds or become sick, what then? What could be worse than being stuck on Mars with people complaining or whining? Perhaps there will be incentive to stay, like 40 acres to call your own. Otherwise, I think there will have to be some round trips made.

    • travesty

      this whole idea is absolutely terrible. toss your entire life and existence away and become a prisoner in hell where there is NOTHING to do for the rest of your miserable life

  • Dirty Daug

    It sounds a little far fetched to me but I do know of some people who should go. Then again the people I’m thinking of would be too old.

  • iDontCare

    This article is assuming that everything is going to go according to plan even though no human has yet to physically be on the surface of Mars. It’s about a seven month trip to Mars – a fricken long time even in the timelessness of space. There is always the possibility that something could go wrong with the ship. A terrible risk for such a great discovery. For now, just feel great that you have the great Planet Earth to call home. Why would you ever want to leave here for someplace far worse and miserable?

  • ChesapeakePirate

    O.K. So, even if everything goes as planned, I still see Lord Of The Flies happening there.

  • Joe Kinn

    Wow…the first five articles are all negative and mostly deal with dying there, or on the way. Seriously? You’re going to die anyway, and what a way to go! The first humans on Mars? Even if you’re only on subsequent waves? I’d go in a shot. What would lighter gravity feel like? What would it smell like? How would the sky look? The moons at night.

    Exploring is dangerous. We’re still not masters of the Antarctic, but we still go there. We could fly to the top of any mountain, but we still climb. Maybe we’ve lost something in the last 50 years, but we can have it back. Heroics, bravery…a goal. We’re all so afraid all the time now. This couldn’t hurt the world’s morale.

    Robots are cool, they’re not heroic. Kudo’s to NASA for doing what they can with what they get, but we need humans on the job.

    As a Canadian, I hope Justin Semenoff gets in, but I just want to live to see *somebody* make it there. That’d make me witness to two ‘first-steps’. How cool is that?

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