Follow-up: Rahaf Ammar
“If you want to go to Mars, prepare to die,” said Elon Musk, president of SpaceX, at a time when humanity yearns to land on Mars. But the journey is riddled with traps and could result in many deaths, so what about the corpses?
21 people have died since the first person was launched into space 60 years ago, according to the British newspaper “Daily Mail.” But as space agencies look to send their first manned mission to Mars, the death toll of astronauts is expected to rise.
And if a crew member dies, it may take months or years before the body is sent back to Earth, which begs the question: what happens to the corpse of the person who dies in space?
Experts have suggested various ways to dispose of the body, including dumping it into dark space or burying a person on the surface of Mars as long as the remains are burned first so as not to contaminate the surface of the red planet.
However, the worst-case scenario presented by experts so far is when the other astronauts run out of food and have nothing to eat, forcing them to eat their deceased partner’s body along the way.
NASA has yet to develop protocols for dealing with deaths in space, according to the American scientific journal Popular Science, but space scientists around the world have developed various methods to “respectfully” dispose of it. Corpse of the astronaut when he dies in space.
Experts say that if a crew member dies while making the 170 million mile journey to Mars, their body can be placed in a cold room or freeze-dried until the spacecraft reaches Earth. But freeze drying in space is very different from what happens on the ground, as the corpse has to be placed outside the capsule, which will cause it to freeze in space.
Throwing the corpse into space is the easiest option though, as it will get caught in the path of the spaceship and stay right where it left off. The problem is that, if many missions choose this method, future missiles destined for Mars will fly through a “sea of corpses,” experts say.
And when astronauts reach Mars, they will face deadly new challenges, one of which is radiation. Previous data indicates that the Red Planet was exposed to 700 times more radiation than Earth. And if an astronaut dies on Mars, it will be necessary to bury a corpse, but NASA has strict laws on contamination of other planets with microbes from Earth.
However, not all dead astronauts may be buried, but their remains can be eaten so that the rest can survive.
This idea sounds painful and “barbaric” according to the Daily Mail, but experts remember what happened when a plane crashed in the Andes in 1972. The passengers had no food or means to communicate, so they made the difficult decision to eat to those who died. when the plane crashed to survive.