Living without gravity has consequences for the bones and muscles. To counter that astronauts have to do exercise and lifting regularly when they go to the ISS. Are there similar plans to counter this for people expected to live several years on Mars?

Mars has gravity, so adverse effects may be less than spending the same amount of time on the ISS, but day-to-day activity in Mars' reduced gravity will certainly not load the body as much as activity on Earth.

This might be a dumb idea, but could using clothes made heavier in purpose all the time help?


1 Answer 1


First we must compare the surface gravities of Earth and Mars. Planet Earth has 2.63 x more gravity than Mars.

So a Martian going to Earth is similar to an Earthling visiting Jupiter a bit closer to its poles. Humans live in the Earth's gravity for (almost) their entire lives and I think they couldn't spend days on floating cities on Jupiter since Jupiter's 2.5-2.7 g would prevent them standing up. Something similar counts for people born on Mars. If they tried to visit Earth they wouldn't be able to stand up. They'd have weaker muscles and bones.

As with astronauts who visit Mars for two years (the length a manned stay on Mars is expected) I think they will eventually adapt back to Earth's gravity. Two astronauts already spent more than a year on the ISS (in weightlessness). On a Mars mission you spend 6 months in weightlessness, 2 years in 0.38 g and another 6 months in weightlessness, so I think returning from a journey to Mars is manageable for the human body. Of course, the more time you spend on Mars, the harder the body has to readapt to 1 g (or 2.63 g from a perspective from Mars). But if these astronauts weren't born on Mars they would eventually re-adapt. It may take months if not years, but I'm sure they would.

  • $\begingroup$ "for people born on Mars" Is this a guess only, or is there some research about this? Even people born or Mars will be much like we Earthers are, being of the same species - they are not in the same situation Martians (living for generations there) would be. $\endgroup$
    – Suma
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ Surely you mean that Planet Earth has 2.63 times as much gravity as Mars? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 26, 2020 at 16:58

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