The Red Planet is not a place for fools or cowards, as there are plenty of hazards to kill off any intelligent humans brave enough to settle upon the crimson world.

Now according to scientists gravity might play a factor in preventing Earth’s nearest habitable atmospheric neighbor from becoming a second home.

Later, NASA scientist April Ronca sent pregnant rats into orbit and observed how spaceflight affected the later stages of pregnancy; back on Earth, the birthing process was more or less normal, but other work suggests that rat pups exposed to microgravity develop abnormal vestibular systems, or the inner-ear machinery associated in sensing movement direction and orientation. […]

In mice, the story is similarly complicated. Research suggests that the two rodent species respond differently to changes in gravity. Two-cell mouse embryos sent into space aboard the shuttle Columbia failed to develop further, even as Earth-based controls matured normally. Later, work in simulated microgravity (achieved using a rotating piece of machinery called a clinostat) showed that while in vitro fertilization could occur normally, microgravity-cultured embryos transferred to female mice failed to implant and develop at normal rates. (National Geographic)

Granted many of these tests were conducted in microgravity so there is a chance that Martian gravity would be okay for mammals, birds & amphibians to breed upon and thrive (let alone survive).

However, until we gather any conclusive evidence, Mars might be limited to wealthy retirees seeking to escape the doldrums of Earth for an exotic Martian life.

Note: scientists & engineers have yet to resolve the toxic Martian dust issue, which the video below articulates best.

Discovered via: Mars News, Image Credit: Robert Murray / Mars Society