If you're banking on getting a ticket to Mars, you might actually have an advantage if you're a woman. Why? Well, a big part of it is how males and females differ physiologically, says the latest episode of RiAus's A Week in Science above. Research has shown that women can have stronger hearts, which means they could potentially handle low oxygen and low gravity environments better than their male counterparts. And experiments have shown that their bodies are also better equipped to withstand the vibrations and radiation they'll face when space-travelling.
And in terms of how we handle the psychological challenges of being out in space, research has shown that women might actually deal better with the isoloation and lack of sensory input that comes from a long duration of interplanetary travel.
But if none of that convinces you, you can't argue with the dollars and cents of it, says RiAus. When it comes to economics, they say, women are on average lighter, and the Mars simulation that has been running in Hawaii has found that they expend less than half the calories of their male peers, which means you only have to stock half as much food for them. And if you compare a small woman with a large man, you're going to need about half the total resources for the woman, which means a lighter spacecraft, so less fuel. Watch the latest epiosde of RiAus's A Week in Science above to find out more.