Putting together a mission to Mars: what to take to survive on the red planet

They say that an American businessman is already ready to send a manned ship with colonizers to the red planet. But before taking advantage of the ticket to a new life, the Martian settlers will have to thoroughly prepare for the trip.

We have prepared a travel kit for the red planet. You should have your passport, ticket and a list of items you need to survive. We’ll have to carefully calculate everything: the carrying capacity of spaceships is limited, but in order to survive in alien conditions, many will have to stock up.

During the flight

A flight to Mars under ideal circumstances will take 6-8 months. This means that we will have to survive immediately after we get on board the space rocket – no “going” to the restroom, drinking some water and, moreover, no walks. Everything is strictly within your own seat, since the rest of the space will be occupied by luggage. The main danger is to turn into people from Wall-E:

Healthy team – healthy population of Mars

In order not to “lose” your neck, lower back and legs during a long trip, you will have to modify the chair with a massage cover. Upon arrival, the body will thank us.

On board and after landing, a tonometer, pulse oximeter, electronic thermometer, an inhaler and a germicidal lamp will be useful. Still, life in a confined space with a large crowd of people is fraught with the rapid spread of disease. Bandages and adhesive plasters will be useful , especially at the stage of assembling the Martian base and transporting cargo.

Don’t forget about hygiene. Modern ships do not match the interstellar stations from Star Trek in terms of comfort level and size of living space, so you should not expect comfortable showers and toilets. For example, astronauts on the ISS wipe themselves with wet wipes and soap suds.

It’s very cold in space. And although the ship is heated, during landing, the automatics will lower the temperature in order to free up some of the energy for operating additional engines. In order not to freeze, it is better to take an electric blanket with you. Not useful on a ship – it will come in handy on Mars.

Dinner is served!

Space food is crushed into a puree and stored in tubes. This is not a problem for anyone with a blender and vacuum sealer. For example, we cook borscht from fresh vegetables in meat broth and turn it into cream soup. Or borsch-puree, as you like.

As a child, we filled tubes for toothpaste with jam, but now it can be done easier and more practical: pour a portion of mashed potatoes into a bag for a vacuum sealer and vacuum.

So we get a semblance of space food containers that take up a minimum of space and weigh practically nothing. By the way, you can also cook space “cutlets”: we pass earth cutlets through a blender and evacuate.

Do not forget that the food will go bad in a few days. Therefore, we go to choose a compact freezer – we need a deep freeze. 410 liters should be enough for one traveler.

If your baggage allowance allows, you can take a huge and energy efficient refrigerator with you. Almost 650 liters of refrigerated volume with an energy consumption of only 244 kWh / year! It is, of course, a little expensive, but we take into account that this is a purchase for the rest of your life. Returning for a new refrigerator is unlikely to work.

During the flight to Mars, the equipment will be stored in the cargo hold, and we will put the food supply inside – profit! During the flight, the refrigerator will not be connected to the network, but this is not required. In order to save money, the cargo compartments are not heated, so the provisions will not deteriorate.


It takes a very long time to fly to Mars. We’ll have to entertain ourselves somehow. How? You can take your portable console with you or play good old retro games. Are Contra with Sonic over? Then we take a board game and get to know our rocket neighbors better. At the same time, we will establish informal ties in the future colony.

The RC tractor can then be unpacked. If anyone has any comments about toys on a serious expedition, we explain that this is an important tool. On Mars, he will act as a pioneer in suspicious terrain.

All this entertainment can get boring in a couple of weeks. And there are 25 more to come. Therefore, the book is the best friend of man and astronaut. Of course, no one will allow you to take a paper multivolume book on board, but an electronic book can easily replace it. Don’t forget to download the collection of reading materials, including technical documentation and scientific papers, while still on Earth!

To save even more space, you can replace your e-reader with a brand new iPad with a powerful processor, connect to a portable NAS server and watch earth movies, cartoons, recorded TV shows, family videos, and photos. There are many applications for reading books, only using online libraries will not work. You will again have to download the stock of books on Earth.

Home far from home

The hatch of the ship slowly opens, we squint against the scorching sun and cover our eyes with our hand – here it is, Mars! But there is no time to admire the desert landscapes: you need to install residential modules of the Martian station, connect equipment and transport cargo from the luggage compartment to the warehouse. For this, we will use helper tools. For example, to assemble living quarters you will need a set of screwdrivers, keys and other “garage” tools. A simple and reliable technique – a garden wheelbarrow – is useful for transporting building blocks. In it, you can quickly transport the entire food supply.

In winter, the temperature on Mars drops below 170 degrees, at this time of the year, the problem of storing food for the colonists is not worth it. But we will arrive in the summer, when +20 ° C, favorable for humans, can quickly destroy an edible cargo. This is where the freezer that we brought from Earth comes in handy.

The problem with electricity at first will be one of the most pressing: due to the low concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere, the gasoline generator will not even start. If you turn it on at the station, you will have to suffer from noise, lack of oxygen and unpleasant odors. And there will be problems with gasoline supplies. Therefore, we will use solar panels and batteries. For more complex tasks, you will have to build a nuclear reactor.

One solar panel is enough to charge a smartphone (which, however, will be useless in the early years) or connect a portable lamp. You can also power the radio from it, they will come in handy for communicating with the team in the field.

Immediately after the base is assembled, the cosmonauts will start assembling a powerful computer that will autonomously control the operation of all living and working compartments, keep a full-fledged connection with the Earth, make scientific calculations, regulate the microclimate, relying on smart home devices , etc. .d.

It will be possible to update computer hardware on Mars no more than once every three years, which means that we choose from the top offers. Moreover, the system will manage the station’s life 24/7, and even the slightest “freeze” can lead to a disaster.

If the baggage allowance allows, we will take a giant TV to Mars. No, not to watch the terrestrial TV channels of aliens, but to connect to a computer. During the day, it will show important information about the operation of smart systems at the station, and during leisure hours, you can display images of terrestrial nature on it and imagine that this is a window overlooking, for example, the sea surface or red poppies under the blue sky. If you add a high-quality webcam, then from time to time you can arrange video sittings with relatives who remain on Earth. The larger the screen, the better the immersive effect.