Sunday, May 3
#18 - the red planet
The time has come for the first manned mission to Mars. The trip is being headed up by NASA and will be made up of a crew of eight. You have been extended an invitation to join the mission as a "civilian astronaut". Beyond rudimentary tasks on the spacecraft, your main charge would be to record and document the goings-on of the mission.
So, a seat on the trip is yours if you want it, though the following items should be considered...
- You would need to participate in a rigorous five-month training program beforehand.
- Each leg of the trip will take six months.
- The hope is that the crew will stay on the surface of Mars exploring, running tests, and setting up the foundation of a colony for a total of around four to five months.
You are being given a rare opportunity, but taking all of these things into account (in addition to a relatively short debriefing period), it will require an extremely focused commitment of about two years. Once in transit, you will generally be able to communicate with the folks back on Earth via video conference once a week. Besides the isolation and cramped quarters, by accepting a spot you would be assuming the risks inherent to space travel and a trip to a distant planet.
Do you join the mission?
Posted by Matt at 10:14 PM