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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

would you take a one-way trip to Mars?


Have you heard about Mars One? It’s a privately funded plan to start putting humans on Mars in 2023. From Mars One:

Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies. Mars One mission plan integrates components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide. The first footprint on Mars and lives of the crew thereon will captivate and inspire generations; it is this public interest that will help finance his human mission to Mars.

The Mars One mission plan consists of cargo missions and unmanned preparation of a habitable settlement, followed by human landings. In the coming years, a demonstration mission, communication satellites, two rovers and several cargo missions will be sent to Mars. These missions will set up the outpost where the human crew will live and work.

The mission design takes into account the expansion of the human colony where a new crew arrive every two years.

Mars One will select and train the human crew for permanent settlement. The search for Astronauts began in April 2013. More than 78,000 registered for the selection programme within two weeks of its launch.

You can apply here. More about the program at CNN.

Would you take a one-way trip to Mars?

I’m gonna have to think about this. In 2022, when the first mission launches, I’ll be 53 years old. Which isn’t that old, actually. But it might reduce my useful lifespan on Mars, even if everything went right. On the other hand, perhaps older astronauts would be better than reckless young idiots, whose useful lifespan on Mars could be even less if they don’t think to check their suits before taking a walk out on the surface.

What do you think?

Thanks to bronxbee for the idea.

(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)

  • LaSargenta

    Absolutely. But, it doesn’t look like I can take my son. He’d be willing, too, I bet. (Haven’t asked him. Don’t want him to get ideas about things we can’t fulfill right now.)

  • Bluejay

    A one-way trip? No, I don’t think so. I love this planet too much, and I haven’t yet seen everything on it that I want to. I salute those who want to go, though.

  • Hm. Bluejay is right, lots to see yet on the homeworld. But if the opportunity came up I’m not sure I could say no.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I dunno. Kim Stanley Robinson kinda soured me on the idea by making the whole things seem so… dull and lifeless. Until the terrorist bombings start, anyway.

  • applekate

    Only on the condition that I would have no contact with Earth.

  • Bluejay

    Yeah, for me the one-way thing is a deal-breaker. I’d miss oceans too much, and blue skies, and wildlife, and a fresh breeze you can just gulp in without worrying about the oxygen supply. And the chance to see redwoods and Antarctica and rainforests. And grand architecture and concerts and bookstores and Broadway musicals. Of all the worlds in our solar system, I think it’s safe to say that Earth has the most variety, both in natural environments and in human culture and activity.

    I’m all for adventure and seeing new wonders. But if it means forever forsaking everything else I love in order to commit the rest of my life to the hard work of surviving in a red desert… I guess others may be made of hardier pioneer stuff than I. As I said, though, I would heartily cheer on those pioneers.

    I suggest this song as the soundtrack to this thread.

  • RogerBW

    Before I was married? Sure. Now, probably not.

  • Fionna

    I have a problem with the concept of permanence. It’s why I’ve never gotten a tattoo, even though I’d like to, so I figure a one-way trip to another planet is probably out of the question. Of course, that means I’m *permanently* on Earth…..

  • MisterAntrobus

    Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact, it’s cold as hell.

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