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A trip to Mars is every science-enthusiast’s dream. But did you know that there are quite a few unexpected challenges on the way to Mars? In this article, we tell you what they are, and what you should do to overcome each hurdle. Travel to Mars is no walk in the park. Read on to find out more.

Perhaps every young person today who has been interested in science during high school has some time or the other imagined getting into a spaceship and travelling to Mars. But do you know what it must be really like for astronauts who will be drafted in to travel to the red planet? Well, here are a few things to expect just in case you get the call from NASA.

1. Expect to be away for at least three years
Yes, that’s right. The trip to Mars takes eighteen months each way. Even assuming that you spend no time at all on the planet to gather samples and record observations (in which case you must ask yourself why you’re going there in the first place), you will miss out on at least three years of Earth life. And that assumes that everything goes well during your voyage, of course.

2. Make friends with high stress
The human body and mind do not like to be isolated. Long periods of isolation are known to cause high stress in human beings, and reduced brain activity. So even if you’re the smartest person in the world, if you go to Mars you will become less sharp in the mind, and chances are that you will be irritable and highly stressed when you land. It is not as cool as it looks on television and in the movies; your nerves will become a fraying bunch of high-strung cords by the end of the journey.

3. Be prepared to exercise
Exercise has been shown to reduce stress in human beings. Your Mars spaceship will most likely contain a state-of-the-art gym, but you must promise yourself that you will use it even if you don’t feel like it. This is a vicious circle, because when you feel low on motivation and happiness, you don’t feel like working out, and that will make you feel sadder still. Exercise, therefore, has to be made part of your daily schedule for the whole three years, whether you like it or not.

4. Plan for boredom
Your biggest enemy in space is boredom. If you’re the kind of person who loves to get about and go places, then you will have a tough time coming up with activities to amuse yourself. Take with yourself two or three big projects that you can pursue on your own, like a writing a novel or building a plan for a business that you wish to start after you return. Something big and grand that will last you all three years.

5. Make friends with your colleagues
For God’s sake, don’t fight with your colleagues. Your team is your family for the next three years. With the shadows of stress, loneliness and boredom lurking around every corner, do you think you will be doing yourself any favours by fighting with your colleagues? No. Just be nice. Even when it’s hard.

Himanshu Yadav

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