Today is another grey and rainy day in London. I woke up feeling a bit annoyed and didn’t want to do anything. I get this feeling a lot on days when it’s gloomy outside. No matter how technologically advanced humans get, we are still powered by the blood through our veins, the organs pumping energy, and the emotions that we feel.

So I started thinking about how important weather is to the mood and wellbeing of people. How would this affect humans on Mars with a complete different set of weather system? In my interview with Alison, we had talked about this briefly. The weather will radically different to Earth and it will be EXTREMELY cold. There will be training in places like northern Canada for the candidates to adapt to this kind of temperature.

The average temperature on Mars is minus 60 degrees C. According to NASA,

One of the most dynamic weather patterns on Mars is the generation of dust storms that generally occur in the southern spring and summer.

I did a bit of searching on how weather affects mood and here’s what I found:

  • A lack of sunlight can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Cold temperatures reduce sensory feedback, dexterity, muscle strength, blood flow, and balance.
  • The lack of sunlight associated with rainy days can cause serotonin levels to dip, and as serotonin levels decrease, carbohydrate cravings increase.
  • The reduction of atmospheric pressure during rainy days can cause pressure on your nerves and joints.

source: bustle.com

Although there will be no rain on Mars, but rather the dust storms covering the whole planet months at a time may block and absorb sunlight. Aside from the weather, would the redness of the planet or the high iron level affect mood as well?

On the other hand, humans are highly adaptable creatures. We have evolved to our ever changing environment naturally and technologically. So in which ways would mood be evolved on Mars and how could I think about creating social objects to help the wellbeing of these people we are sending to colonize Mars?