HUMANS on Mars like Elon Musk could age faster from the voyage and become CANNIBALS if farming systems fail, it’s been reported.
Scientists face multiple problems as we attempt to colonise the Red Planet and beyond – including whether space travel ages people, and how long supplies will last before turning into chaos.
Disease, food sustainability and self-sustenance are some of the biggest factors that need to be tackled before humans successfully colonise Mars, according to experts.
And future colonists may even end up eating each other if they run out of food and don’t receive regular supplies from Earth.
Charles Cockell, a professor of astrobiology at Edinburgh University, said: “Even with the best technology, isolated human communities can degenerate very quickly.
“If you put a group of people on Callisto, things start going wrong and the plant growth module breaks down, they are going to eat each other if there is no other way to survive.”
Calliston, Jupiter’s moon, is among the possible locations for humans’ first permanent settlement outside of Earth.
Dr Cameron Smith, a Portland State University anthropologist, added proper farming and food sustainability methods must be put in place before colonisation.
Colonies closer to home – Mars or our Moon – should be tested first because it would be easier to get supplies from Earth, according to the academics.
After properly testing how to survive, humans could colonize Mars in 30 or 40 years, and on Callisto only 100 years after that.
But travelling to Mars may also speed up the ageing process, scientists at the Mayo Clinic have noted.
The process of cell senescence may be triggered in humans travelling to the Red Planet – which Elon Musk’s SpaceX is planning to do en masse as early as 2026.
Scientists will start the first study into the phenomenon in February.
Dr James Kirkland, an expert in cellular ageing, said: “This flight will give us an idea of whether routine spaceflight, without even going beyond the Van Allen belt, is associated with cell senescence.
“If we see senescence even under these conditions, we would certainly want to do some work in preparation for a longer mission. something will have to be worked out before interplanetary flights are feasible.”
Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s plan to move mankind to Mars could end up with “Martian” children suffering an array of mutations such as “green” skin, brittle bones and poor eyesight.
The SpaceX mogul insists he will move to Mars and believes humans need to colonise our neighbouring planet to become a “multi-planet species”.
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However, experts warn that it’s not just the perilous 140 million mile journey which would be dangerous – humans on Mars would endure the most brutal living conditions imaginable.
But it’s the children of Martian settlers who would undergo the most drastic of changes.
It comes as SpaceX successfully launched four astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the Crew-3 mission.
According to Rice University biologist Scott Solomon, these evolutionary changes would happen much quicker than they would on Earth because of the vast changes in lifestyle, gravity and radiation.
Firstly, Mars is smaller than Earth and it has 38 per cent less gravity.
It also lacks a global magnetic field, a thick atmosphere and a protective ozone layer.
This means Mars gets battered by space radiation, UV light, charged particles from the sun and cosmic rays.
And this would cause higher mutation rates in the DNA of humans living there, the scientist says in his book Future Humans.