Would you go to Mars if it meant never coming back?

I’m getting sick, and college starts next Monday. Expect shorter posts until I recover. Don’t worry, my posts will still be awesome. Wink, wink.

Travel to Mars has always been something we’ve dreamed of. Hell, I know I do. If given the opportunity after lots of training and weight loss, I would definitely go to Mars. The line for that flight would be long and crammed with hundreds of people who imagined what it’d be like to set foot on that red planet.

But what if that was a one-way trip?

That’s exactly what Mars One is. By 2023 — which is now only 10 years away, might I add — they want to put people on Mars, and those people won’t be returning because the plan calls for permanent settlement.

Even if it meant never coming back to Earth, never seeing your loved ones again, would you go to Mars?

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8 thoughts on “Would you go to Mars if it meant never coming back?

  1. I wouldn’t myself…space & astronomy is uber-cool but I rather enjoy my creature comforts… ahem. The problems of living inside a tin can where ‘bathroom facilities’ consist of sponge-baths and, er, rather basic other services doesn’t entirely appeal.

    That said, the calculation isn’t too different from the one faced by most of those who settled the US, New Zealand, Canada, Australia etc from Britain from the turn of the seventeenth century on. For most of those settlers the journey was one-way, largely because nobody could afford to pay the fare back. And Niall Ferguson has pointed out that to 1780s British folk, Australia was pretty much exactly like Mars, even down to the unknowns and the red sands.

    The difficulty with the one-way Mars journey, I suspect, would be staying alive even during the interplanetary cruise – the problems of radiation dosage haven’t yet been solved. And then staying alive on Mars, which is full of ‘unknown unknowns’ as far as practical human habitation is concerned. But we’re learning & these problems are all soluble given the funding (the big problem, really). I think the real answer for practical interplanetary travel will come with improved propulsion systems – VASIMIR and other possible ion-electric drive systems, slashing transit times and (one hopes) cost.

    All this has got me thinking about a possible story, of course! :-)

    • Yeah, I wouldn’t want to sponge bath for the rest of my life, haha. Interesting comparison of Australia and Mars, though I suspect Mar’s unknowns will be bigger and more extreme, since it’s a planet and not a continent.

      I think the funding issue is what Mars One is trying to tackle by getting sponsors to find this new technology. Not sure if they’ll manage it in the ten years they’re aiming for (2023 seems so close when you look at it like that, which is weird).

      Signs of a good writer, then. :D

  2. There I was, just trying to clean up my e-mail inbox, not even planning to read any blogs tonight… how could I not click on something with the title of “Would you go to Mars if…???” What a great question! Like the commenter above, I think I’m too settled in with my creature comforts. And I am a “home body” by nature! But, wow, just imagine being one of the first people to settle Mars! I’d have to see what the accomodations were like first. :)

    I hope you are feeling well soon and good luck with classes!

    • Yeah, same here. I love my little comforts and would be very loathe to give them up. Well Mars One says they plan on having the settlers be very recorded and documented, so I’d rather keep up with it that way than actually be the first round of people to go. There are a lot of unknowns they’ll have to face, weather and such, among many other things. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next ten years. :)

      Thanks! Still feeling sick but I’ve got two days to get over it, so yeah.

  3. What a cool thing to ponder! My immediate response is, “YES, please!” There are no frontiers left on Earth, so it would be amazing to go forth onto a different planet and explore there. As for not coming back, that only adds to the excitement. :D

      • I don’t know, I think it would be exciting! Like being an old time pioneer, except in space. The hugeness of the adventure would outweigh the dangers, I think. ^^

      • True, very true. I think Matthew made the same comparison to old time pioneers, and it’s definitely an accurate portrait, for sure. I don’t know, it’ll be interesting to see how it ends up, once 2023 rolls around. If I see your name on the list of settlers I’ll be sure to cheer for you, haha. :D

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