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?

12 comments:

HeatherR64 said...

No way. But Laura is totally going to say yes!

Pietro said...

Count me in. For me, its sounds like a working vacation, but the work is 10x cooler than anything I be doing on this planet. The time commitment is not an issue for me when compared to the potential memories. I might even learn a thing or two about space travel. My only fear is that I'd come back to Earth and be pressured into become an Ohio Senator like John Glenn. yuck, politics...

Mike said...

Yes I would totally do it. I am sure I would regret it during lift off and re-entry (if I hate flying, imagine space travel!). But yea, gotta agree that I totally would want to take this opportunity.

Also, as far as the risks are concerned, I think dying in an attempt at the first manned space trip to mars is a pretty cool reason to die.

Evan said...

Am I missing the downside?

Stephanie said...

No. Unless there are either cylons that will accompany us OR that Admiral Bill Adama is the commanding officer.

Andrew said...

Yes and yes again...

...except that I'm married, which complicates matters. Now if only all these opportunities (living on a desert island for $1m, going to space) had come along beforehand.

Ry said...

What, are you kidding? I've wanted to be the first on Mars since I was a little kid! I had read as far as the post's title when I answered YES!

I thought these were supposed to be challenging questions?

laura said...

Haha, Heather is completely right.

Most of my thoughts on this are summed up in Mike's response.

Space travel was one of the first things on my mind, and to this day I am surprised that there are people who didn't go through periods of their lives wanting to be astronauts.

I think the being in close quarters under potentially stressful circumstances would be difficult, but then again, it's Mars. Holy cow.

Matt said...

I figured being away from most everything you know and love for two years would be a significant downside. To each their own, I guess.

I think I'm in the pro-Mars camp though. Hard to see any other way I could get into space without huge amounts of money. The uniqueness of the opportunity would probably be enough to swing me towards Mars.

And Mike, your last point is a great one, even though space death could be an ugly way to go.

Glowacki Photography said...

My initial reaction was, "A trip to Mars?! A chance to experience space? Yes!!" The time commitment is long. ..would I be selfish to take that period of time away from family? Would the isolation drive me crazy? I'm totally sure the cramped quarters would be beyond annoying-even traveling in the car can make me irritable. Comparitively though, my execuses seem petty.

Sheila said...

I agree with Andrew, both with this and the desert island thoughtlab. You are making me feel as if my marriage prevents me from doing important things in life! haha :) These things would be even less possible if any of us had kids. Thank goodness thoughtlab is frequented by a motley crue of twentysomethings :)

Amy said...

My answer is going to be similar to Heathers.

No way, but Derek is totally going to say yes.

I'm just too high anxiety for a space trip.