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Considering that each pound/kilogram costs a vast amount of fuel to put into orbit/get to the moon or Mars, it might make sense to use jockey-sized people or even midgets as astronauts. They might be less likely to die of long periods of free fall, too. Then there's the reduction in food consumption, air, space suit size and mass and everything else.

So my question is what are the average masses of male and female astronauts and is it less than the averages (means) of non-astronauts?

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  • $\begingroup$ Afaik the mass of the human body is not too much compared to the whole thing, so being small is probably not so important like for tank operators in the military. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    May 5 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ @peterh Are tank operators small? $\endgroup$ May 6 at 1:09
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    $\begingroup$ As far I know, recruiting into the military, tank operators are chosen from the candidates with smaller body. It is because a tank internal is not a luxury car. It is optimized to destroy other tanks and protect the life of the operators. To have a comfortable room for the operators to stretch is a no-issue. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    May 6 at 2:20
  • $\begingroup$ From Almost 90% of astronauts have been men. But the future of space may be female: "Women use less food and oxygen, maintain their weight better on restricted diets, and create less waste. In the words of Sally Ride, 'weightlessness is a great equaliser'." $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 6 at 3:17
  • $\begingroup$ Why Women’s Bodies Are Better Suited for Space Travel: "Men’s eyes are affected more by zero gravity Scott Kelly wrote in his biography 'If scientists can’t figure out what’s causing those eye issues we just might have to send an all-women crew to Mars' Hearing sensitivity... is, also declines with age much more rapidly in male astronauts than it does in female astronauts, according to the 2014 NASA report And in general, women’s immune systems are stronger than men’s." $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 6 at 3:19
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is it less than the averages (means) of non-astronauts?

Very likely. A recent survey from the US (a country with a significant number of astronauts) reports average weight of adult males as 200 pounds (90.7kg) and 162 pounds (73.5kg) for adult females.

For comparison, the allowed weight limits for cosmonauts on Soyuz-TM (Mir, ISS) were 56 to 85 kg, meaning the average American male is above this range. Soyuz-TMA (ISS) extended this range to 50 to 95 kg

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Launch fuel costs are a microscopic portion of the total mission cost. It makes a lot more sense to design all systems for human bodies within maybe two-sigma of the median , thus giving you a much larger applicant pool, than to worry about a few kg of launch mass.

Edit: There is certainly something to be said for female vs. male on Mars missions if the observed difference in health during long periods of zero-G remains valid. OTOH, if one believes the initial missions will be one-way, there might be a lot of controversy over reproductive capabilities in the early colony.

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