Future space missions and human enhancement: Medical and ethical challenges

Konrad Szocik, Mark Shelhamer, Martin Braddock, Francis A. Cucinotta, Chris Impey, Pete Worden, Ted Peters, Milan M. Ćirković, Kelly C. Smith, Koji Tachibana, Michael J. Reiss, Ziba Norman, Arvin M. Gouw, Gonzalo Munévar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Future human space missions to Mars and beyond may be realized for different research, economic, political or survival reasons. Since space remains a hazardous environment for humans, space exploration and exploitation requires the development and deployment of effective countermeasures. In this paper, we discuss prospects for human enhancement by gene editing, synthetic biology, or implants, for the purposes of future space missions. We argue that there are good reasons to consider such options, and that ethical arguments can be made in favor of human enhancement to enable long-term space exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102819
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Bioethics
  • Gene editing
  • Human enhancement
  • Space missions
  • Space settlement
  • Synthetic biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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