Micro-G is known to be detrimental to health in the long-term. However, the Moon is at $\frac{1}{6}$ G (while Mars is at ~$\frac{3}{8}$ G). Is $\frac{1}{6}$ G enough for humans to remain healthy in the long term?

(While there are many concerns that make Moon colonization difficult -- i.e. long night/day cycles resulting in large temperature swings -- please focus on the gravity/health question for now.)

This question may be answered in the long term by the Space Studies Institute's "G-Lab" program.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Interesting question, I'm not sure if we actually know as we haven't had anyone living in low gravity for any length of time. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Sep 20 '21 at 16:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ related: Does lower gravity on Mars make it unsafe and unhealthy for humans? $\endgroup$
    – Harabeck
    Sep 20 '21 at 16:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Mars is 3/8 g, not 1/3. $\endgroup$
    – user43968
    Sep 20 '21 at 16:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Even with approximation it's exaggerated. Mars' gravity ranges from 0.374g at Olympus Mons' peak to 0.381g at its poles. So it doesn't get close to 1/3. $\endgroup$
    – user43968
    Sep 20 '21 at 16:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I have asked this myself for a while, maybe our bodies are much better able to cope in mini-gravity than in micro-gravity. I don't think there are many studies on this (how would there..) but let's see what others know.. $\endgroup$ Sep 20 '21 at 21:40

We don't have enough medical data to decide if 0.1667 g is enough or too few. To get enough data we would need hundreds of humans living at 0.1667 g for some decades.

But from what we know now it would be unhealthy to return to 1 g after years at 0.1667 g.

We don't know if a lot of training would be sufficient to keep all bones of the body strong enough for the return to 1 g. What if all bones of the arms and legs got the density needed for 1 g, but some vertebrae are not dense enough?


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.