Exclusive to Madame Mars Newsletter: Sheltering in Place

As we adapt to life during the current global pandemic, many of our necessary mitigation practices suggest what living on Mars might be like. Most of our time is spent in isolation or in very small, familiar groups. Our range of activity is extremely limited; going outside could kill us. If we do leave home, we must wear PPE – on Earth a protective mask, on Mars a spacesuit. We are dependent on virtual communication, networked technologies, and remote support services – delivery from Amazon, supply ship from Earth. Madame Mars asked an interdisciplinary group of scientists, educators and artists to help envision how the shut-down, shelter-in-pace, mostly virtual lives we’re currently living might compare with living on Mars, and whether they’ve personally learned anything during this pandemic that might serve as useful advice for the humans who will someday settle there.

Here goes Klara’s contribution to the newsletter:

“Living in the times of a coronavirus pandemic with all the necessary restrictions and mitigation practices seems to suggest what interplanetary space flight and even living on Mars might be like in the future. But I believe it also works the other way round and that space exploration brings important know-how to our lives today. The knowledge we have about living in space and extreme terrestrial environments is very relevant these days, and can help us endure the constraints our daily lives demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ISS astronauts, crews in analogue space habitats, even personnel at Antarctic research stations can offer many ideas and tips on how to deal with confinement, prolonged periods of isolation, and psychological stress.”

For example, the ESA Astronaut support engineer Romain Charles  has spent 520 days locked in a mockup spacecraft and is a true expert on the subject. Here are his nine tips on how to live in isolation: 

Madame Mars is a transmedia production designed to prepare all of us for our futures in space, whether orbiting Earth, returning to the moon, or colonising Mars – and worlds beyond. Full newsletter available online!


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