Woman Planning to Give Birth on Mars Might Be a Genius

baby on mars

Depending on your feelings regarding space travel, life on Earth, and a bunch of other ecological/existential matters, the idea of establishing a colony on Mars might sound like anything from an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime adventure to an epically catastrophic disaster-in-the-making (I lean toward the latter, personally). But what about the idea of actually having a baby on the red planet?! That's what 24-year-old astrophysics student Maggie Lieu, recently shortlisted for the Mars One project, hopes to do someday. 


If you haven't heard about Mars One, it's a rather ambitious, privately-funded program that aims to put two men and two women on a spacecraft in 2024 and ship them off to Mars, where they will then live forever (this is a one-way ticket, folks). Some 200,000 people have applied to the program, a pool of hopefuls that has since been whittled down to 100 (including Lieu). Says the student:

I think it would be really exciting to have a child because it would be the first real Martian. I don't know what race or nationality it would be because there are no countries on Mars -- yet.

Nobody knows the effects low gravity would have on a fetus. Also, the high levels of radiation would make the guys infertile. So I don't know if it would work but if you want to start a colony, you have to reproduce.

Full disclosure: I am not an astrophysicist, nor am I entirely sure what being an astrophysicist entails, really. And that whole low gravity/radiation thing sounds pretty off-putting when it comes to the specifics of human reproduction. But assuming one could actually bear a healthy child on Mars and raise him or her up to be a healthy adult, there would surely be some perks to parenting the universe's first ever Martian, right?

Such as: 

1. Not having to worry about getting back in shape after baby.

No need for skinny jeans or bikinis on Mars! Who cares about the size of your thighs when the only thing you're ever gonna wear is a space suit??

2. No judging from other moms.

Breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, co-sleeping, crib sleeping, organic baby food, non-organic baby food ... who's gonna mommy-shame you for your choices, that pile of red rocks?

3. No preschool application madness.

You're "homeschooling" by default, mama!

4. No keeping up with the Joneses.

So what if all the other kids have the latest Xbox? It's not like Amazon delivers to your neighborhood.

5. No birthday party craziness.

Not only do you get a pass from having to go to/deal with other kids' parties, you never have to hang a pinata or decorate a Pinterest-worthy cake!

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6. No parent/teacher conferences.

See above comment about homeschooling.

7. No contagious diseases.

Of course there would likely be plenty of unique health concerns associated with living on another planet, but pinkeye and chicken pox? Probably not on that list.

8. No competition.

Oh, so your sister's little one crawled at six months and spoke in complete sentences by his first birthday? Whatever, you LIVE ON MARS.

9. No driving your kid everywhere, every day, all day long.

No soccer practice carpools, no early morning chorus rehearsals, no playdates across town!

10. No snow days.

Okay, maybe I'm only saying this because it's the dead of winter and I spent yet another morning clearing off the car windshield, but who wouldn't trade a lifetime of shoveling for all hot and sunny, all the time? (Not that you could actually go outside on Mars or anything. Look, this is obviously a fantasy, cut me some slack!). Maggie Lieu might be a genius (and not just because she's an astrophysicist)!

What would you like about raising kids on Mars?


Image via ©iStock.com/yulkapopkova 

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