Richard L. Sylvan M.D.
The development of a permanent colony on Mars requires the ability to successfully reproduce. To do so requires not only bringing a child to term, but also successfully raising a normal child leading to the development of a normal adult. Data for development of mammals under conditions of earth conditions is readily available. Limited data in concerning mammals in microgravity has been developed during the space age. Essentially no data is available on the results of forces less between one and zero g. A variety of models of reduced gravity are discussed, as well as the potential consequences thereof in the developing infant.
Use of a centrifuge in the Martian home, a Mars crib, is suggested to avoid some of the potential dangers of reduced gravity. Orientation of the child within the crib is discussed. Experiments that can be performed by the Mars society in its Translife program or a potential follow-up are suggested.