Should future Mars missions have all-female crews?

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Sep 11, 2022
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So what would diversity on a Mars mission look like? The crew for NASA's Artemis 2 mission, which will fly a woman beyond low Earth orbit for the first time, is a good start, but there's still a long way to go. For example, there is no research available on the effects of spaceflight on intersex or transgender people.
Please, no. A post-op trans, horribly mutilated, requiring lifelong specialist medical care. And even a pre-op trans still suffers from the same mental illness. Am I being able-ist? Yes; yes I am. A U.S. senator should be free from cognitive malfunction, able to communicate verbally without restrictions. Astronauts should be sound in mind and body, before their skill sets are evaluated. I make no apologies for these preferences.

Intersex people (people with chromosome defects, such as Klinefelter syndrome) may be too physically impaired to take on the challenges of travel to Mars. If, however, one can meet the exacting requirements and offer a unique skillset in addition, I suppose they should be taken into consideration. But not on the basis of "Inclusivity", which is in conflict with the principle of meritocracy.
 
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Jun 6, 2023
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Sure, you have the team dynamic thing down. But what happens when the airlock blows and everyone needs to stop crying and do some calculus? Then you're screwed.
 
Jan 26, 2023
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To the contrary, the early missions to Mars should be all-male. Most of the supporting arguments in this article are well-thought-out and make a very convincing case. However, there is a very important factor that does not seem to have been considered.

The reproductive health of women in a high-radiation environment would be of great concern. Women, unlike men, carry the next generation from birth. There is little evidence garnered from the few women that have been to space to make conclusions about the effects of space travel on a woman's ability to produce viable offspring following years of exposure to the radiation that would be encountered in a Mars mission. Even with medical information from the women who spent extended periods on the ISS (low-earth orbit), we would not know the extent of harm that could be done from travel through open space or in a habitat on the surface of Mars.

Males, on the other hand, may experience any number of reproductive issues as a result of exposure to radiation on a prolonged mission, but would not carry damaged reproductive cells for more than a few weeks. The likelihood for offspring of male space travelers to experience genetic anomalies, vs female space travelers, is far lower.

Until we have more evidence, it is a safer and wiser approach to avoid sending reproductive-aged women to Mars. If women are to participate in early Mars missions, they should be past child-bearing years or have no interest in starting a future family.
 
Nov 25, 2019
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The very FIRST question you have to ask is, "why are you sending a crew at all?" Humans can do somethings faster than robots but unless you are in a big hurry, robots controlled from Earth will do the same science at 5% of the cost.

OK, but robots can't take selfies of humans standing near a flag on Mars. This is the reason you send astronauts, to make those impressive photos.

If the reason to send humans is just to send humans so you can say you sent humans, then any human will do. You do save some money if you send only females who are small, say about 5 feet tall and 110 pounds. They would eat a LOT less than a 180 pound male astronaut, and over a 2 year mission and four people this difference in food makes for a lot of weight savings.

But on the other hand, sending a crew of smaller women looks like you did it because you were unable to send a crew of median sized astronauts and decreases the propaganda effect of these selfie shots with the flag. So you really do need to send a more diverse crew. Again you have to look back to the reason you sent a crew.

If you look only are engineering and economics, there is no reason for astronauts. But if the reason is so you can say "look what we can do." then sending only the smallest people you can looks bad, even if it makes sense from an engineering point of view.
 
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The reproductive health of women in a high-radiation environment would be of great concern. Women, unlike men, carry the next generation from birth.
Typically, astronauts are old enough that they have already had children. Reproductive health is not an issue. So sending women over 40 years old is reasonable.

The average age for a new-hire astronaut is 37. They would not be sending rookie astronauts to Mars. Only those with some experience would go. By then they would be over 40. Many astronauts are in their 50s.

Because of lifetime limits for exposure to radiation, it makes sense to send older people to Mars. A 50 year old could take a higher yearly does and still keep under the lifetime exposure limit.
 
Mar 8, 2020
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Statistics show that women are better astronauts than men, but gender diversity is key to a successful Mars mission, experts say.

Should future Mars missions have all-female crews? : Read more
But is Mars colony a good idea since there is a lot of radiation there due to Mars very weak magnetic field. Also, UV would be intense. OK, they would need to live underground, but is that a viable existence? Would the water found on mars be drinkable or irradiated?
 
Jun 6, 2023
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You do realise that a lot of mathematicians in NASA were female....and black.
Its sarcasm... Like how the author was arguing for something ridiculously antithetical to diversity by making stereotypical claims about the bell curve of the average woman, like the average woman is going to be going to Mars.

Its just one of the dumber articles I've ever read on this website.
 
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I read this elsewhere, first, and wondered if Space.com would pick it up. Sorry to say that it did.

The article makes a lot of silly arguments about "women consuming less resources than men", but doesn't admit that is based on the difference in the average sizes of men and women, not some metabolic trait differences. But, we have long excluded extra large men from fighter aircraft cockpits by size restrictions, and could just as easily design a space craft for midget men or women if that was a major priority in the design.

The real issue is that the people chosen have the right expertise and good health and fitness to perform under stressful conditions, maybe with some limitations on size, but certainly not on sex. There are both men and women who qualify, and the choice needs to be made on the individuals, not their statistical group memberships.

Regarding women getting along in groups better than men - again with the inapplicable averages. There are plenty of examples of women criminals, psychopaths, etc. and plenty of examples of team-players among men. The abilities of individual candidates need to be assessed, not their membership in various statistical groups.

So, why are we reading this in Space.com? Is Space.com putting the current political fads at a higher priority than actual science? And how has "equal opportunity" turned into "exclude the men", anyway? Seems hypocritical as well as unscientific.
 
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