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Southampton professor helping with 'Mission to Mars' project

Jim Pawelczyk (left) and Adam Hawkey (right) - picture credited to Solent University

A Southampton-based sports scientist is helping with a NASA project, by educating on how to keep astronauts healthy during space flights.

Adam Hawkey - Head of Sport Science and Performance at Solent University - is working alongside former NASA astronaut, Jim Pawelczyk to create a YouTube video that educates people about the dangers of space travel.

His latest venture alongside The Physiological Society is an educational animated video that is designed to inspire the next generation of space explorers - including some who may travel to Mars.

The animation describes the challenges that are faced when planning a human mission to Mars and the dangers crew will face.

Speaking to The Breeze, Hawkey said of the project:

"What I'm really interested in is making sure that those that go there (Mars) are healthy enough to carry out their missions, but also they are healthy enough to come back.

"That's the real challenge. Having been in that non-gravity environment for such a long period, because when they come back they are going to experience some real health problems.

"It's making sure that we've conditioned them properly, so they can explore further or come back home."

Speaking of the end goal of the Mars project, Hawkey added:

"The long-term goal is to have a permanent habitation on the planet, with potentially a colonisation point."

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