Reaching Mars Might be a Suicide Mission, But We Could Have More Chances to Survive With Healthy Gut Microbes

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Elon Musk's company SpaceX is working to bring its Martian Megacity to life, and it seems like Musk and his company are a step closer to realizing their dream. Although it comes with a price, reaching and creating a colony on Mars is definitely not for the faint of heart and might even be a suicide mission. 

Mars mission healthy gut microbes

(Photo : Aynur Zakirov from Pixabay)
NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX aims to visit Mars in the near future.

How the Mars Mission Could be a Big Challenge

In a recent report by Tech Times, Musk has begun looking for people who will be the first inhabitants of his Martian colony. It appears that the billionaire is looking for "ready to die" people as the mission is definitely not easy.

Besides the fact that Mars is inhabitable, the journey there will be long and grueling, something that the human body is not made for.

According to Newsweek, long space flights can have an adverse effect on the body as the microgravity environment could reduce bone mass and cause muscle breakdown, causing nausea, making it a struggle for many astronauts to eat.

What's more, space food isn't precisely Michelin-star quality.

Read Also: LOOK: NASA's Chandra X-Ray Telescope Captures Breathtaking Images of Cosmic Bodies You Only See on Sci-Fi Movies

Disrupting Gut Microbiomes

People's diets will change once they board a spaceship, and it could ruin their gut microbiome, which would then lead to further health problems.

"Changes in the microbiome are likely to lead to the breakdown of the balanced and complex relationship between microbes and their human host, with potentially severe repercussions on the functionality of body systems," Professor Silvia Turroni of the University of Bologna said.

There is mounting evidence that the microbiomes of space travelers are often disrupted during space travel.

In one study, it has been discovered that astronauts' microbiomes on the same mission have become similar to each other during the space mission, including an increase in bacteria that causes intestinal inflammation.

With the increase, the researchers have also found a decrease in microbes that have anti-inflammatory properties.

So if people are ever to walk the Red Planet, scientists here on Earth would first have to find a way to ensure the safety of people during the months of space travel, starting with food and diet.

That is where manipulating the gut microbe enters, which is also suggested in the research.

Maintaining Healthy Gut Microbes

"The literature suggests that nutritional countermeasures based on prebiotics and probiotics hold great promise to protect space travelers," Turroni said.

Based on the report, the experts believe that manipulation would the best way to maintain health while astronauts are on board the spacecraft.

Professor Martina Heer from the University of Bonn agrees and says that the well-being of the gut microbes of space travelers should be one of the primary goals of experts here on Earth who are preparing for long-duration space flights for future space travels.

"To ensure the success of the mission, we must not overlook the myriad of microorganisms that reside in our gastrointestinal tract and make sure they are in balance," Heer further said. 

Microbial treatments would start simply by introducing nutritionally balanced meals rich in fiber to help kickstart microbial metabolism, but other methods could be a lot more targeted, such as including microbial supplements.

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Written by: Nhx Tingson

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