How Long Could You Survive On Each Planet?

Explore the survival odds on different planets in our solar system. Mercury and Venus? Deadly. Earth? Surprisingly dangerous.

Video of the day January 20th 2020

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There are 9 planets in our solar system right now. But we only live on one of them, and aim to expand to another soon, but what of the others? Could we live on them? Join us as we explore how long you’d survive on the other planets.

Mercury

Let’s go first to last in regards to the planets, shall we? If we do, we end up on Mercury first! And…yeah, this is definitely a place that you don’t want to live on for various reasons. Not only is the planet that is closest to the sun, which leaves it open to things like solar flares and certain kinds of energy bursts, but it’s one that has a very bad habit of being a planet of extremes.

You might have heard the phrase “tidally locked” when talking about¬† Mercury. This is the concept that the planet honestly doesn’t rotate around like most planets do. Instead, it has such an orbit with the sun that it stays in one place and just moves around the sun while not shifting.

If you’re looking for a visual on how that works. Think of it like you’re taking a selfie, and to show the room around you, you spin yourself instead of the phone. The phone is tidally locked to you, so it doesn’t rotate, you’re just moving it around via your own “orbit”. Get it now?

Technically speaking though, this ISN’T what’s happening on Mercury, rather, the planet just rotates in place so slowly that it exposes itself to the sun in such a way that it has the same effect as a tidally locked planet. Its daily rotation is 58 Earth days, and given that an orbital year is 88 days, that’s a long time facing the sun with only subtle movements.

Given that, the temperatures on the planet vary from extremely hot to extremely cold. And between that and the sun that is somewhat close to it, that makes it a planet that we Earthers really don’t want to try and approach. I mean, it’s feasible we could figure out how to make it work, but compared to other planets that have MUCH more habitable options…it’s just not worth it, you know?

So how long could you last? Depends on how good your gear is and what the sun does. So tell me, would you take that chance by going there?

Venus

Once upon a time, many people felt that it would be Venus that would be the planet that we could live on next. There are even short fictional stories about astronauts who lived on Venus, talking about their experiences on it, likely to inspire us to try and go there and see if the stories would be true. And there are a few things to like about Venus, including that it does have a surface for us to touchdown on, it’s not too much smaller than Earth, and even though it’s closer to the sun, the atmosphere is thick enough to shield us from most issues of the closer range. But…

…Venus is a “no-go” for now because of a very simple reason: The Greenhouse Effect. This is when certain gasses get trapped in the atmosphere of the planet in such a way that it causes all sorts of problems. Usually by heating up the planet. And that’s exactly what’s happening on Venus. Due in part to its position near the sun, and its atmosphere, there is an overwhelming amount of Carbon Dioxide on Venus, so much so that it causes the planets natural temperature to rise up to nearly 900 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface. If you know what Global Warming is, this would be what people are warning about in regards to the “worst case scenario”. I talked about in this article.

The increased heat makes it so that the surface of the planet is intolerable, and no life grows there at all. Little life could with all of that heat (that we know off…) and that means that human habitation there is a no go. Plus, even if we COULD survive the heat, the atmosphere is so thick with Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases that we couldn’t breathe in it.

Ironically, there are spots in the atmosphere that are rich in Oxygen, so we COULD live there if we made floating colonies…and thus make us the real life version of Cloud City…but that would be a LONG way away, and have a slew of other problems.

But still, people hope. Though if you try and go there now? Yeah, you’d die quickly.

Earth

I know what you might be thinking, “Why are we talking about Earth? We already know how long we can survive on here!” But do you? Do you really? If you think about it, Earth is actually the most dangerous planet on our solar system. Not because it’s too hot like Mercury or Venus, or it has dangerous gasses like Jupiter and Saturn, or is too cold like Pluto, but because there is so much on Earth…it’s easy to die a lot of ways.

Now I’ll grant you that just stepping on the planet won’t mean an instant death like it would in some of the other planets, but that doesn’t mean that your fate is better necessarily. Think about it. You could walk out into the street and all of a sudden get hit by a car.

Or, you could contract a disease that infects one in every billion people and die via that. There’s cancer, there’s deadly water, there’s animals that can bite you and infect you, there’s accidents, dumb luck and bad luck, and on and on. It’s a lot to take in. There was a show once called “1000 Ways To Die”, talking about some of the most random and unusual deaths ever recorded, and yet that number is a misnomer. Because there are MILLIONS of ways to die on Earth.

Yeah, a lot of people get to live long and healthy lives, but I bet w all know someone who has died far before they should’ve. It’s a chilling reminder that life is fleeting, and that we should be grateful for what we have here on Earth.

So how long can you survive on Earth? Depends on how lucky you are, and the life you live.

Mars

When it comes to Mars, you could argue that this is the planet that has the most people’s attention (aside from those who are trying to save the Earth in various ways, just saying). Mainly because the desire to colonize Mars has never been stronger. There are numerous agencies including NASA and SpaceX who are trying to get their various plans in order so that they can go and land on the planet. Which is good, but, as I’m sure you know, there are a lot of obstacles in the way of full colonization, and if they were to just land on it willy-nilly they wouldn’t last very long.

Mars is a barren planet. It’s said that at one time there used to be a lot of oceans and various other kinds of bodies of water, but due to a hole in the atmosphere and various radiation, that is no longer the case. The best there is right now is ice and clay. Which means that any colony would have to use the limited water resources available in order to last long term.

Plus, because of the atmosphere and bombardment from space rays, there’s nothing green on the planet. There are plans in place to try and get that fixed, including terraforming, but we’re a long way away from testing.¬† I talked about in this article.

Even if we were to set up domed colonies and do various things ourselves, it wouldn’t be easy. We’d need to find a way to fix the gravity of the planet so that it’s more like Earths, because without the right kind of gravity, our bones will get weaker.

We’d also be under constant danger of exposure to Mars if the dome we were under is cracked. Which would turn the colony into a vacuum…and that’s bad, REALLY bad.

So as you can see, NASA and more have a LOT to think about before they even dare try and land a lot of people on Mars. But, if they do get it figured out, it would mean a lot of new potential for humanity. And to many that’s worth the risk.

Spaceman Mars

Jupiter

As we move past Mars, we now head into a rather unique sequence of planets known as the “Gas Giants”. The biggest of which is of course, Jupiter. Which make this a rather difficult planet to talk about because the very notion of “touching” the planet would be an instant death to anyone.

How does that work? Well, believe it or not, it’s NOT because of the various gasses that make the planet up, or even the gravity that keeps it all together. Rather, it’s the pressure that is exuded on the planet. It’s so much greater than Earth’s that if you even think about going into it, you’d be dead in less than a second. And that’s just the FIRST way it could kill you.

The main gasses of the planet are Hydrogen and Helium, which would kill you upon inhaling them in enough volume. Or, there’s the fact that the planet in many cases is just a giant living storm…including the infamous “red spot” of Jupiter that never stops thunderstorming and has lightning bolts that could likely vaporize you…

Are you getting the picture here? Jupiter isn’t a nice planet! And thus it’s not exactly something that we should think about colonizing. Especially because we don’t know what lies beneath those big clouds of gas. Some speculate that there could be land under there…somehow, but we don’t know, and even it was true…we’d likely never reach the surface of the planet.

The moons though are another story…which brings us to…

Saturn

Arguably the most beautiful planet (outside of Earth), Saturn is also a gas giant, and like Jupiter, has a LOT of things that could kill us in the very not so nice way. Such as the pressure that would likely kill you within a second, or the gasses that can choke the life out of you, not nice things to think about.

However, there is a caveat, for while we may not be able to live on the planet, we could live on one of its many moons. One of which, Titan, is stated to be a place that possible hold life, and even power it. The moon has an atmosphere, it has lakes filled with various liquids, including liquid gasses like methane (yes, that’s a thing), and the gravity isn’t too dissimilar to something like the moon. Thus, there are many people interested in potentially colonizing there. Granted, we wouldn’t be able to reach it very easily, and it’s likely we’ll try Mars first because that’s the closer and arguably better option. But…the potential is there.

And if we do get to be on the moon, we’d have an impeccable view of those rings that everyone likes to look at.

Uranus

Yes, I’m asking if you would want to live in Uranus, why are you laughing at that question? Ok, I KNOW why you’re laughing at that question, I’m kidding. But let’s seriously talk about the potential of living on the planet Uranus.

Needless to say, this isn’t an optimal place for us to live. Even if it wasn’t on its side. one of the biggest problems with this planet is that it’s cold. Like REALLY cold. Its average temperature is about -371 degrees Fahrenheit, and it technically can get colder than that.

As for its composition, it’s made up of methane gas mostly, which is actually where the planet gets its blue hue. Did you know that already? I’m curious.

But arguably the biggest problem with Uranus is that it’s SO FAR away from Earth that any attempts to even try to get there would take so long it would be unfeasible. Which of course brings us to its twin…

Neptune

In many ways, Neptune is just like Uranus (no jokes please), they both have an atmosphere that is mostly comprised of Methane, which means we can’t breathe in it, its temperatures are freezing cold, well beyond most spacesuits can handle. And even if we could make it past all of that, we wouldn’t be able to land anywhere, because we’re pretty sure there’s no surface to land on! That alone would make it a place we shouldn’t even dare to try and be a part of.

And, just like Uranus, but even worse, the planet is very far away from Earth, it would be illogical to try and go to the planet based on our current capabilities. And if you STILL need a reason why we shouldn’t go to Neptune, the planet is next to an asteroid belt that it likes to manipulate. So much so that it can actually send asteroids out into space and towards Earth.

So…why would we want to live there?

Pluto

Yes, Pluto! The planet that still exists despite science saying it’s not there!!!

*ahem* In regards to Pluto, it has one of the biggest problems in terms of living there, distance. It’s the farther planet away from the sun. However, unlike its closest planetary neighbors, it’s actually a solid planet. But, because of its distance from the sun, it’s also one of the coldest planets, and it’s very barren as a result.

If you recall the Magic School Bus…you know what that kind of cold can do to you.

Now, in the future, it could make a great colony outpost that would help ships trying to get out of the solar system…but for now, it’s not worth our time.

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