SPACE

So You Want To Go To Mars? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Find out what you need, how much it costs, and what dangers await you

Nov 22, 2016 at 1:15 PM ET

From the old pros at NASA to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, everyone is talking about going to Mars in the not so distant future. So why not get in on the fun and take a trip to Mars yourself? This three-part series has the complete lowdown on what you will need to know to get ready for your journey to the Red Planet, but be warned: Going to Mars isn’t easy. The costs are gigantic and the dangers are very real. But for the trip of a lifetime like this, it might all be worth it.

Let’s start with the basics of how you’re going to get there. It can be tempting to think that reaching Mars isn’t all that different from NASA’s previous missions to the moon, albeit on a much larger scale. But visiting Mars isn’t just a question of distance, but of location as well. A Mars mission requires careful timing if you’re going to make it at all.

That doesn’t seem too bad, right? Well then, let’s get into the dangers that you’re dealing with as an intrepid Mars astronaut. We still don’t truly understand the effects of a year spent in the radiation and zero gravity of deep space, but everything we do know suggests there are serious health risks waiting out there. How can you keep yourself safe as you go on humanity’s greatest adventure?

Finally, we need to take a look at the costs of going to Mars. Unless you’ve got a spare hundred billion dollars lying around, you’re going to need help on this one, and NASA is still probably your best ticket off-world. All this might be leaving you a little daunted by the prospect of going to Mars, but don’t worry: We close with a little inspiration to remind you why going to Mars matters.