What would we have to do to our bodies if we wanted to live on Mars? io9 consulted scientists, our imaginations, and a designer, and came up with the most realistic-possible portrait of a Martian colonist who might truly exist on the Red Planet in 100 years. She's really tall, doesn't have to wear a bra, and has some pretty awesome photosynthesis and water-reclaiming implants in her exosuit. It's time to meet the first Martian woman. Click through for full frontal.
Here is our Martian woman's spec:
First, our woman is tall, a little pear-shaped, with really thick legs. This shape compensates for the reduced gravity.
She has a very lightweight exoskeleton covering her whole body. The exoskeleton has to keep her warm, keep her pressurized, shield her from solar wind, and absorb lots of sunlight. So it can be thin, but laced with heated mesh. It should have a nanofabric outer shell laced with lead to repel x-rays and other cosmic rays. And the upper half should have super bendy, ultra-thin solar cells that are constantly sucking up solar energy.
In her boots and strapped to her thighs, she has water drilling/processing packs. A cannulated drill can extend out of it, go deep under martian crust, suck up water, run it through a filter to get the salt and acid out, and then store it close to her body to keep it liquid so she can sip from it.
She also has a photosynthesis rig on her back. This is a light, thin backpack that converts the C02 from the atmosphere and some of the water from her leg pack into sugars and oxygen for our Martian. So it's a combination breathing apparatus and feeder.
Image by Stephanie Fox. Additional reporting by Nivair Gabriel.