I was wondering: some companies plan to colonize Mars, many of us know.

But if one were to live on Mars, would this person live longer?

It seems to me that a lower gravity would mean less overall damage to the body cells, so they could last longer: resulting in a longer lifespan.

Or maybe lack of gravity = lack of exercise = lesser lifespan?

I'd like the opinion of some expert in the matter. Thanks.

  • $\begingroup$ No, reduction of gravity causes bone decalsification. Also there will be no protection from the sun's radiation in space and on Mars and that has been an issue. $\endgroup$ – SolarLunix Jul 11 '15 at 6:07

Probably not. There's a thing called Hayflick limit, which is basically a limit of life expectancy caused by a shortening of telomeres with every cell division. And since most of our cells complete cycles more based on time (life cycle of RBC 100 days), and not due to damages to a cell, our telomeres would still shorten at the same rate. Of course the gravity could play a small part once organs have started failing, but there are many other factors that affect how long it takes for everything to completely deteriorate, and wouldn't have a big role. In fact, it could even shorten life expectancy, seeing as how our bodies are currently built to live in our current gravitational field. Without gravity, our muscles could become weak, causing other problems, which is why people at the space stations have frequent dedicated times to workout, to keep their muscles fit.


It sounds reasonable that reducing the physical stress on a body would reduce the wear and tear, and thus increase the owner's lifetime.

However, it's just as reasonable that human bodies are designed to be under stress, and drastically changing the environment will harm the body in subtle and even obvious ways. For instance, some research shows that lung and heart cells won't grow properly if not cyclically stretched.

Until we get some serious long-term research, in space or on a smaller planet, we won't really know.

  • $\begingroup$ We don't know is a valid answer, but not without resources to support it, or evidence of effort in not finding anything on the topic. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jul 11 '15 at 4:52
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    $\begingroup$ Is leaving a reasonable question with no answer better than giving the best answer that you have? $\endgroup$ – Daniel Griscom Jul 11 '15 at 11:53

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