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How to Survive on Mars: the Science Behind the Human Exploration of Mars

Monash University via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.



Mars has captivated the human imagination since the very earliest civilisations. It is the most explored planet in the solar system and that is unlikely to change. Getting to Mars is relatively easy, surviving on Mars will be the real challenge.

Learn the basic science needed to survive on Mars

This free online course will introduce the key scientific concepts needed for humans to survive on Mars, where there is no air to breathe, no water to drink and no food to eat. The course will also examine interdisciplinary skills and meticulous planning required to sustain human life in such a hostile environment. Case studies and insights from leading experts in the field of Chemistry, Astronomy, Physics and Geology will demonstrate the basic science and problem solving skills you can use in everyday life.

Explore essential science and problem solving skills

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • apply basic science to explore possible ways of producing water, oxygen, food and energy on Mars

  • describe possible solutions and outcomes to problem-based scenarios.

Learn from leaders in the field of science

The course is based on the approaches that lead educators, Tina Overton and Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway, deliver to their science undergraduate students at the Monash University Faculty of Science – a vibrant, dynamic and world-renowned community in Australia at the forefront of innovation and discovery.

This course is designed for anyone who wishes to learn more about the basic science required to survive on Mars. You’ll be able to use any scientific knowledge you bring to the course, but this is an introductory course and anyone can enjoy it without prior knowledge of the subject.

Taught by

Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway and Tina Overton


4.8 rating, based on 4 Class Central reviews

Start your review of How to Survive on Mars: the Science Behind the Human Exploration of Mars

  • Anonymous
    A short and accessible introduction to the science around trying to survive on Mars. I liked the concept map activity and the regular feedback from the teachers.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous (above) reckons this course is only suitable for primary school children. Personally, I found it relaxing to have a course that contains real science but doesn't baffle me with maths. This course was very thought-provoking and included stuff that they definitely didn't teach me at primary school.
    If anonymous, or anybody else, fancies something more demanding I recommend the Brian Schmidt/Paul Francis MOOCs over on EdX. Very interesting, but with maths.
  • Anonymous
    Really interesting and revealing for a person like me, who's not an expert on the matter. I highly recomend it :-)
  • Millie B.

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