Mars Anyone?

 No, I don’t mean a Cadbury’s Mars bar, I mean the real thing! It beggers belief that over ten thousand people have already put their name forward to be one of the first humans to tread on the red planet after applications for future ‘marsnauts’ were requested. It has been made clear that whoever goes will never be able to return home to mother, tea and cookies, but they are still lining up. I can only think that something must have gone wrong in the current human gene pool for so many people to willingly commit suicide in this fashion.

The Mars One Team

The Mars One Team

According to the organizers, a Dutch non-profit (really?) company called strangely enough ‘Mars One’, they intend to turn the whole event into a TV reality show. I cannot think of anything more ridiculous in the world.

You Wanna' Live Here? Are You Sure?

You Wanna’ Live Here? Are You Sure?

They are intending to send four individuals on a one-way trip to Mars that will take a whole year to reach, and televise the whole thing for all the world to watch. Wow! That should get them some air-time. They tell us the Olympic Games netted $4 billion in TV revenues in four weeks so their costs of $6 billion should be attainable over the year of travel and reports from after they arrive – IF they arrive! It sounds like a 21st century way to make a lot of money to me!

The International Space Station

The International Space Station

Before they even get there, these people will run the risk of the physical effects of exposure to high-energy cosmic rays and other forms of ionizing radiation which already effects ISS astronauts after only a short stay in space. Don’t forget that ISS personnel only stay in space for a maximum of a few months, and these people will be there for over a year and no-one knows what the effects will be on the human body. Another ISS astronaut problem is the physical effects of a prolonged low-gravity environment, which could include bone and muscle wastage and eyesight loss. Not much point in going there if you don’t have the muscular power to move and you can’t see a damned thing.

The Planned Living Accomodation

The Planned Living Accommodation 

As if all that is not enough, there is also the psychological stress of prolonged isolation from Earth. It won’t be any good crying for mummy or wishing for a cool glass of beer. Also the psychological effects of lack of community due to lack of real-time connections with Earth must be considered, and the social effects of several humans living under crowded conditions for over a year. On top of that they will not be able to go to the local doctor, hospital or dentist if they develop something nasty. Last but not least, there is also the very good chance of equipment failure in the propulsion systems or even worse, the life-support systems. The next big problem, assuming they make it, is what then? The atmosphere of Mars is mostly carbon dioxide, which is poisonous to humans and they will have to endure temperatures of -55C.

Good Luck!

Good Luck!

The ‘Mars One’ people say that a nice little cottage with a nice garden will be waiting for them when they get there, if they can afford it. Well, perhaps it won’t be a cottage, but some inflatable capsule with all the comforts of home? I doubt it. Even if the advance landing of the habitats goes to plan, what if it gets blown away by a martian storm. Our intrepid ‘marsnaughts’ had better hope that part goes without a hitch, or they will be left with nowhere to go.

Proposed Living Quarters

Proposed Living Quarters

The Dutch company hopes to be able to televise the entire undertaking from astronaut selection through to their stay on the planet. It will certainly be a moneymaker and for a ‘non-profit’ venture I can see them making billions, if it ever gets that far. With such a venture on prime-time TV they will be able to print their own money so to speak, and don’t forget it will go on for over a year. Big Brother move over the Dutch are coming.

OMG! What Have I Done?

OMG! What Have I Done?

You have to ask yourself why so many people have stepped forward as would-be ‘marsnauts’. It becomes immediately clear that not one of them have taken any serious thought into what the enterprise will entail. The big one of course is the ‘never coming home bit’. Are some people really so tired of life that they are willing to throw it all away for five minutes of fame? Or is it that they will be able to brag to their friends: “I volunteered for the Mars mission”. I have the feeling that after a long hard think, and as the day comes closer, many will have an attack of conscience and drop out. Ah Well! There goes my moment of fame!
Roy.

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