Want to live on Mars? This is what it might be like

Want to live on Mars? This is what it might be like
Victor Caivano/AP

If you could live on another world, would you?

Even though we’re all on the same planet, each person has a unique existence. So much of that is rooted in what it’s like where you live, including the culture, climate and environment. Just traveling to another place unlocks a new experience entirely different from the one you know.

But your life would shift entirely if you were on a long-term mission to the moon or Mars. Even your body would change (and you can take our quiz to find out how).

Though the return of humans to the moon is still years away, and a trip to Mars even further out, there are ways to test our readiness to live and work on another planet.

Other worlds

Passionate about making sure the human race reaches Mars? Here’s your chance to help.

Apply to be a crew member in NASA’s first one-year simulation of living on Mars. You could be one of four people living and working in a habitat called Mars Dune Alpha at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Simulating a mission on Earth before going to the red planet can help NASA work out all of the kinks.

As we’ve learned from robotic explorers like Perseverance, Mars is a tough frontier. Perseverance’s team here on Earth has an idea why the rover failed in its attempt to collect a sample from Mars’ surface last week: the rock crumbled under pressure.

A long time ago

Say hello to the original “Ice Road Truckers” that had a long way to go and a short time to get there. Mammoths once covered huge distances in their lifetime, traveling the equivalent of the circumference of the Earth almost twice.

An analysis of a 17,000-year-old tusk revealed this startling fact, among other insights into the life of a mammoth. The animals had a good reason for undertaking such long hauls: Their survival depended on it.

The mammoth the tusk once belonged to died at age 28, and information from the analysis revealed the likely reason why it perished.

Mission critical

Our planet is warming faster than previously thought, and the window is closing to avoid catastrophic changes that would transform life as we know it, according to a landmark report released this week by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

As we quickly approach this 1.5-degree-Celsius global temperature threshold, scientists have singled out a culprit that needs to be reined in: methane.

The invisible, odorless gas has over 80 times more warming power in the near term than carbon dioxide. And its concentration in our atmosphere is higher now than any time in the last 800,000 years. Cutting back on our reliance on fossil fuels and methane emissions is crucial.

There are meaningful ways you can help create change. And if this feels overwhelming, remember: Stop blaming yourself for the climate crisis.

We are family

A nearly 1,000-year-old grave in Finland may belong to a nonbinary person, according to a new study. Researchers arrived at this hypothesis after conducting a genetic analysis of a bone recovered from the grave.

The grave was first uncovered in 1968. At the time, researchers believed it belonged to a warrior woman, because the grave included jewelry and feminine clothing, along with a pristine sword. This elaborate burial indicates the person was highly respected in their community.

The findings suggest that the concept of a nonbinary identity — when a person identifies as neither male nor female — may have existed in medieval Europe.

Dino-mite!

Researchers announced the discovery of a terrifying “dragon” that soared over Australia millions of years ago, striking fear into the hearts of juvenile dinosaurs.

The pterosaur had a nearly 30-foot (7-meter) wingspan and was once Australia’s largest flying reptile.

Two new dinosaur species have also been uncovered in northwest China, and the creatures were so massive, they were nearly as large as blue whales.

One was estimated to be over 20 meters (65.6 feet) long, while the other was 17 meters (55.77 feet) long. Blue whales range from 23 to 30 meters (75 to 98 feet) in length. These long-necked giants walked the Earth 120 to 130 million years ago.

Discoveries

Explore these new finds:

— A 1,900-year-old mystery was uncovered by workers digging for a water main in northeastern England.

— Botanists found a new carnivorous plant on the Pacific Coast. While it’s no “Little Shop of Horrors,” this plant is bad news for bugs.

— This near-Earth asteroid now has a greater chance of hitting Earth through 2300, although it’s still pretty slim. Don’t worry. Look at this new spectacular image of a black hole’s glowing rings instead.

Like what you’ve read? Oh, but there’s more. Sign up here to receive in your inbox the next edition of Wonder Theory, brought to you by CNN Space and Science writer Ashley Strickland, who finds wonder in planets beyond our solar system and discoveries from the ancient world.

The-CNN-Wire
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