National Geographic : 2017 Apr
DISTANT FUTURE CAN HUMANS ADAPT TO THE RED PLANET? Large-scale evolutionary divergence from the human norm requires a population to be isolated for thousands of years— unlikely on Earth. But it’s possible we could have a small settlement on Mars before a half century passes. Then would come a larger community—100 to 150 people, with members of reproductive age to sustain and increase its numbers. Could we evolve into ideal Martians? Space travel expert Chris Impey, a professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, foresees a colony of Martians among whom scientists could accelerate natural evolutionary processes. Bodies would become tall and thin in response to an atmosphere with less than 40 percent of Earth’s gravity, and hairless in a controlled environment where there is no dust.