- Humans will be able to reproduce on Mars, according to a scientific study.
- Scientists believe found sperm could survive on the Red Planet for up to 200 years.
- Researchers previously believed space radiation would destroy our DNA, making breeding impossible.
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Human reproduction will be possible on Mars because sperm can survive there for up to 200 years, a study suggests.
The findings were part of a six-year experiment in which scientists kept mouse sperm on the International Space Station and exposed it to radiation.
As The Daily Mail reports, researchers had believed radiation in space would destroy human DNA and make breeding impossible. Cancer caused by the radiation was another concern.
But after six years, scientists found that the mouse sperm stored on the space station was still healthy.
They also exposed it to X-rays on Earth and discovered it did not affect fertility.
One of the study’s authors, Professor Sayaka Wakayama, of Japan’s University of Yamanashi, told The Daily Mail: “Many genetically normal offspring were obtained. These discoveries are essential for mankind to progress into the space age.”
“When the time comes to migrate to other planets, we will need to maintain the diversity of genetic resources, not only for humans but also for pets and domestic animals,” he added.
The study’s results come days after NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter completed its seventh flight on Mars.
The Perseverance rover that carries Ingenuity to Mars is roaming the planet to search for signs of life. As reported by Insider’s Kate Duffy, Perseverance is due to travel three miles across Mars over the next few months.
On its road trip, Perseverance will help NASA understand the geology of Jezero Crater and explore the area for signs of ancient microscopic life, the agency said in a statement.