Coronavirus and Mars – what’s the connection?

Space suit on rock

Space suit on rock. Photo by Nicolas Lobos on Unsplash. Unsplash license.

The connection is in the answer of why we, humans, haven’t put people on Mars yet – because it takes several months to get there, and you spend that time locked up in a tight space without being allowed to go out. Sounds familiar yet?

Respected portal Astronomy.com in its article titles “Coronavirus quarantine could provide lessons for future space travel” dives deeper into this subject. We learn from it that tests were conducted in Utah (United States of America), on a desert, where people undergo a test isolation, walking out only in space suits and having to delicately care for resources they have. My thoughts on this, as someone who watched tv shows about suvivalists, is that it is something different when you know that at the press of a button you can be rescued, and a situation when that is never going to be an option anymore, but that is not fully relevant to today’s subject.

The point is – space agencies needed to make special tests on how people deal with isolation and, oh boy, here comes 2020…

Home isolation

The novel coronavirus SARS-COV-2 of 2019/2020 is pure coincidence (I will write another article why I think there is no conspiracy here at all!), but one of its effects is that people are ordered to stay at home. Here it more or less started on 16.03.2020 and still lasts today, 23.04.2020, day of writing this article.

As Astronomy.com pointed out, only one married couple visited space before. That tells the space agencies little about the behaviour of human psyche under long isolation, and tells nothing useful in terms of establishing remote space colonies, even on the Moon, let alone Mars. Antarctica gives us a strong glance onto this subject, as one Russian specialist described long ago in a video I no longer remember, it is easier for the Russians to rescue someone from the ISS than from their frigid Vostok station, the coldest point on planet Earth. And that point has breathable atmosphere, lots of water in form of ice and is much warmer than Mars!

As it is too early to ask for results of research both of space agencies and psychologists studying people’s dealing with Coronavirus isolation, it is hard to offer conclusions. Most of us already feel heavy mental burden of being locked up. That said, those of you who, like me, enjoy space news, can cheer up. Most of us do not actually plan to spend life on Mars. Unlike there, here the quarantine will end.

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