Small Object of Desire #72 – Making a Home on Mars

You’re not reading that headline wrong. Do you want to go here?

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So you really do want go to the Red Planet. You really want to say sayonara to Earth, see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya, don’t call us, we’ll call you? What, despite the unbreathable atmosphere, the lack of water, the intense ultraviolet light, the sheer uncertainty of it all? Seriously? Is Earth really that unappealing?

Right, then. It would appear that you might be able to do exactly that in about 10 years time. Provided you successfully apply to an outfit called Mars One. And it seems this kind of quest has been on many people’s minds. Over 200,000 people have already applied and they come from all over the world – Iran, Russia, France, Chile, Qatar, the Philippines, India… but especially from the USA. And mostly men. I would love to ask them why it is such an attractive proposition. A small caveat about it though: they will fly only four people to Mars every two years! According to the website:

Mars One will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Crews of four will depart every two years, starting in 2024. Our first unmanned mission will be launched in 2018. Join the Global Mars One Community and participate in our mission to Mars.

I dunno. I often have dreams about flying and they frequently feature me flying in space. I’ve often thought that if I had the opportunity to go into space, I would do so in a heartbeat but to go and live on Mars? Leave terra firma and possibly never come back? That’s probably a frontier too far for me. And the movie Gravity scared the living daylights out of me. Call me cynical or unadventurous but I’m willing to bet that it won’t be quite as easy as Mars One would have it. It whiffs of a social experiment and I’m not quite ready to be one of those just yet. It could get very lonely. And boring. Earth might be all kinds of messed up because of humanity’s lack of care but it’s still home to me and I like its creature comforts. Besides, there’s still so much I would like to discover about it.

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