Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, and it is the second smallest planet with the radius of 2,106 mi. Even though it is a small planet, exploring Mars and finding ways to make trips there seems to be the focus for many NASA programs. There are many risks associated with exploring this red planet.These include the effects traveling to Mars has on the health of the human mind and body, and the tremendous cost.
Space travel puts the human mind and body in danger, especially when traveling to Mars. A trip to Mars can take eight months. In that time, most people would get bored on a spaceship, which is a lot riskier than on Earth, when one can find multiple things to do. Maggie Koerth-Baker writes in the New York Times, “Boredom is a form of stress. If this goes on too long, it can affect your mind’s normal functioning.” Thus, a trip to Mars can cause brain damage. In addition, NASA states “Tens of milligrams of antimatter are needed to send a human to space.” This is unhealthy because some antimatter produce high energy gamma rays that can cause health problems such as skin burn, radiation sickness, and even death.
Another risk of traveling to Mars is the tremendous cost. Mars 1 states that the US spent $450 million for the unmanned Mars Lander Mission. A manned mission to Mars will surely surpass that amount tremendously, to say nothing of where the money is coming from. In his 2016 Forbes article, Mike Patton said that the federal government accumulated $18.2 trillion of debt. This show that while the United States are donating millions to space programs, we are drowning in debt.
Some people might say we need to travel to Mars for survival. They say that Earth is very polluted and scientists believe it will soon be unlivable. However, according to “Why Explore Mars?” the air on Mars is too cold to even contain liquid. This would mean that if we made it to the red planet, there’s no way we could plant crops of food there. Mars’ atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide. Therefore, we can’t even breath on Mars--survival is unlikely.
In conclusion, there are many risk to exploring Mars such as the danger to humans’ minds and bodies coupled with the tremendous cost. Traveling to Mars is a waste of money and resources. Instead, we should focus on using the money we’re donating to NASA to help fix the planet we live on, rather than travel to one we know little about.