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The Human Race is considered the most intelligent species on Earth. If the colonization of Mars is successful, the human race will be the only known species living on more than one planet.

What makes humans different from other species?

Unlike other known species, the human race has created artificial means for a great variety of activities. The accumulation and distribution of knowledge in written form and the global communication with nearly the speed of light is a special ability. The human race is also the only known species capable of space travel.


Adult human individuals on Earth have the following properties:

  • Height: from 155 to 190 cm
  • Weight: from 50 to 80 kg
  • Maximum age: about 80 years
  • Energy consumption by food: 6000 to 16000 kJ (1,66 to 4,44 kWh) (depends on size and activity)
  • Water consumption: 2 to 4 liters per day
  • Body temperature: 37°C
  • Preferred environmental temperature: 20°C
  • Symbiotic relationship with a number of microorganisms (especially in the gut.)

The metabolism of human beings depends, just like animals and various microbes, on water. The human body contains about 70% water.


The social behavior on Mars will be subject to conditions that are different from those on Earth. The following issues should be considered:

  • The human brain needs frequent access to information. Experiments have revealed heavy psychological consequences after a period of information deprivation.
  • A group of male individuals tend to be more aggressive than a mixed group of males and females.
  • Humans are social creatures, and long periods of isolation can be detrimental to health. In addition to fellow colonists, animals kept as pets can provide some level of social interaction. Pixel is a cat that has been adopted by the crews of the Mars Desert Research Station.

Facts and figures

  • "Daily Kilojoule Intake" (14-16 year old boys) while moderate active: "11900-13200" kJ [1]
  • "Energy expenditure of an average day for a healthy male": "2640" kcal, daily kJoule intake with "three hours of hard work": "3630" kcal [2]

Average Human Needs [3]
INPUTS kg/person/day
Oxygen 0.83
Dry Food 0.62
Water in Food 1.15
Food Preparation Water 0.79
Drinking Water 1.61
Oral Hygiene Water 0.36
Hand and Face Wash Water 1.81
Shower Water 5.44
Clothes Wash Water 12.47
Dish Wash Water 5.44
Urinal/Commode Flush Water 0.49
Total: 31.0 kg/person/day
Average Human Outputs [4]
OUTPUTS kg/person/day
Carbon Dioxide 1.00
Water from Respiration
and Perspiration
Urine 1.50
Urine Solids 0.06
Hygiene Water 7.18
Latent (Evaporated)
Hygiene Water
Clothes Wash Water 11.87
Latent (Evaporated)
Clothes Wash Water
Latent (Evaporated) Food
Preparation Water
Dish Wash Water 5.41
Latent (Evaporated) Dish Wash
Feces Solids 0.03
Feces Water 0.09
Sweat Solids 0.02
Urinal and Commode
Flush Water
Total: 31.0 kg/person/day

Open issues

  • What is the optimum temperature in the artificial habitat to minimize the energy consumption by food (may be different at day and night, during work and leisure)?


  1. at Strathmore Secondary College: activity1astronaughtnutrition.pdf
  2. AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS: Human nutrition in the developing world
  3. Space Station Freedom Design Parameters - NASA SSP 30362 (1990)
  4. Space Station Freedom Design Parameters - NASA SSP 30362 (1990)