Future Space Exploration

How long can humans live on a spacecraft?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. On a mission to prove humans can survive long enough in space to make the trip to Mars, cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov spent 437 days on the Mir space station in 1995 [source: Madrigal]. Of course, to make the trip to distant stars, humans might have to spend years or even decades aboard a spaceship. If that's the case, space travelers would have to learn how to continually generate the food, water and oxygen they'll need while they journey through space. NASA is currently exploring the use of hydroponics to grow vegetables aboard spaceships which, in addition to providing food for the crew, would also produce oxygen. Combined with water and air reclamation systems, such a setup might allow humans to survive indefinitely on a spaceship. A better option may be to put travelers in a state of suspended animation for the duration of the voyage, bringing them out of hibernation once they've reached their destination.

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