March 3, 2024
This article explores the challenges of breathing on Mars, current research and technology that could assist in enabling humans to breathe on the planet, and the possibility of humans adapting to life on Mars.


Exploring the possibility of breathing on Mars is an important topic as the desire to colonize Mars increases. However, before we can even begin to think about living on Mars, we need to know if we can even breathe there. This article aims to provide insight on the current understanding on breathing on Mars, the challenges we face, and the possibility of humans adapting to the planet’s environmental conditions.

Top 5 Reasons Why Breathing on Mars is Currently Impossible

Currently, breathing on Mars is impossible due to several reasons including the thin atmosphere, lack of oxygen, low air pressure, low temperatures and high levels of carbon dioxide. Mars has an atmosphere that is only 1% as dense as Earth, and humans need a dense atmosphere for a gas exchange to occur.

The Science of Breathing on Mars: What We Know So Far

Scientific research has been conducted to explore the possibility of breathing on Mars. These studies involve experiments conducted in Mars-like environments to see the effects on organisms. For example, NASA’s Mars Pathfinder mission was instrumental in collecting data on the composition of the Martian atmosphere.

Can Humans Adapt to Breathe on Mars in The Future?

There is the possibility that humans could adapt to the harsh environmental conditions on Mars to be able to breathe on the planet. However, adapting to breathe on Mars could take generations, and we would need to engineer the environment surrounding the human body for it to be possible.

Comparing Air Composition on Earth and Mars

The atmosphere on Mars is primarily composed of carbon dioxide, while Earth’s atmosphere is dominated by nitrogen and oxygen. This essential difference poses the challenge of developing systems that enable us to both survive and breathe on Mars.

What if We Could Breathe on Mars?

If humans could breathe on Mars, it would dramatically change our ability to colonize the planet. We could explore the planet in greater detail, and it could act as a backup planet if something were to happen to Earth. However, this scenario would present challenges such as rebuilding ecosystems that have deteriorated on Earth and creating space travel infrastructure.

Can Technology Help Us Breathe on Mars?

Current research on environments that mimic those on Mars has been conducted to explore ways to engineer the environment surrounding human bodies. Technology that could potentially enable breathing on Mars includes land-based bio-domes, internal oxygen scrubbers, and systems that could extract the necessary elements from the Martian soil or atmosphere.

The Human Body’s Limitations on Mars: Why Breathing is Just the Beginning

In addition to the breathing challenge, the human body is also exposed to other environmental conditions that affect our survival on Mars. These include exposure to radiation, the challenges of growing food and sustaining an ecosystem, and the psychological effects of isolation in space.


Breathing on Mars is a pivotal issue that we need to address as we move forward with our exploration efforts. Adapting to Martian living conditions presents numerous challenges, but it is possible with time and resources. The future of surviving on Mars may be possible through incremental break-throughs in engineering and continued research.

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