Female Astronauts May Be the Ticket for Mars Trips

Women's bodies strain a ship's resources less, researchers find
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2023 6:45 AM CDT
All-Female Crews May Be the Better Idea in Space
The crew of Artemis II, from left, astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover, and Reid Wiseman, and Jeremy Hansen stand as they are recognized in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, in April.   (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

When it comes time to make the long, long trip to Mars, researchers suggest that all-female astronaut crews would be a good idea. For space exploration, a study published in Scientific Reports found, women have the more efficient body type. On a mission lasting 1,080 days, per Phys.org, a crew of four women would save $158 million on food, in addition to the storage space aboard that the food would require. And women would, in general, be less of a drain on resources than men.

Female crew members use less oxygen and water and produce less carbon dioxide. Researchers found women lost 29% less water through sweating during an aerobic exercise, meaning they needed less water to rehydrate. And size differences alone provide advantages without men in the crew. Astronauts have barely enough room to work shoulder-to-shoulder or back-to-back in spots on the International Space Station. Smaller members would be able to get the same work done at least as efficiently in the same space. The study documents a thesis that's been around since the 1950s, per IFLScience. But it was 1983 before Sally Ride broke the gender barrier. (More female astronauts stories.)

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