July 24, 2013 | Pippa

Being the first astronaut to visit Mars would be by far the coolest job ever.

A team at Imperial College have come up with a plan to send a team to Mars and back. But there are lots of problems to consider. Astronauts are at risk from bone-wasting, cancer and even death from the nine-month outward trip alone.

The Imperial team say they've found solutions to many of these issues using existing technology. Even so, I don't think I'll be signing up if the mission ever gets off the ground.

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The return journey would be powered by the ice on Mars.

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Image: Flickr/J Gabas Esteban

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