What you’ll need to know to survive as a college student on a voyage to Mars


It’s official: NASA is currently working towards sending humans into deep space in the upcoming decades. The Houston-based organization is hoping to be able to send humans to an asteroid by 2025, but perhaps more exciting is the thought of humans landing on Mars soil as soon as the 2030s.

But what does it take to go to Mars, and should we be interested in it as something that would look great on a resumé? Unfortunately not just anyone can qualify to go to Mars, and there are definitely many requirements, but college students may have a head-start on making it in deep space.

While there are many things you would have to give up on the journey to Mars, the internet is surprisingly not one of them. Using orbital satellites as nodes in the data transmission process, scientists like “father of the internet,” Vint Cerf, can provide internet access across space and on Mars. In other words, you don’t have to worry “”  Netflix will be there for you, and you can catch season 74 of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

However, having access to the internet and being on a spaceship in the middle of the solar system doesn’t save you from social interaction. Despite having an entire planet to yourself, the living space is small, which means every time you’d like to watch a funny cat video that one crew member will probably just happen to appear behind you so that they can watch too. In this sense, the trip to Mars seems perfectly suitable for people conditioned to living with clingy roommates or with any amount of people in a small space, aka college.

Many would also find going to Mars similar to college life in that you won’t get to see your dog or cat (or fish, if you’re that person) for a long period of time. Yes, going to Mars means leaving your best animal friend on Earth and having to brave deep space without a cuddly, furry friend. This petless world may be especially difficult for Trinity students to survive in if they have often mingled with the Trinicats or lived in the pet hall since their time at the university.

If you make it past the long journey without Sparky through space and finally arrive on the red planet, then you’ll have to be prepared for even more changes. For one, the gravity on Mars is half as strong as on Earth, which means you would weigh significantly less and be able to jump higher. Unfortunately it’s not all sunshine and rainbows actually, there are none of those on Mars) “” the effect of gravity, or rather the absence of it, is significant enough to cause physical and mental stress. Although I haven’t experienced these kinds of stress before, I can’t imagine it’s very different from walking up and down Cardiac Hill or enduring the bane of college students that is finals week.  

Additionally, the seasons on Mars are longer because the year is 687 Earth days and the average temperature is much lower than Earth’s. While most of the time the weather outside will be extremely cold, North Face jackets and vests will be in style year-round.

Mars is a test of physical and mental endurance, a place void of fluffy creatures to console you through the hard times. But, if you do everything right and don’t miss a beat of the best shows on Netflix, you could be considered the Neil Armstrong of Mars. Just make sure you have a witty comment to make about mankind by the time you arrive so that you look cool in the history books.