One way Trip to Mars in the Offing

The latest news on the scientific front is the announcement that scientists are proposing one-way trips to Mars for the purpose of colonizing the red planet!  Can you believe it?  A one-way trip to Mars!

The fear of us destroying our home planet, or the possibility of extinction through a cataclysmic event such as a devastating encounter with a killer asteroid has driven some scientists to propose colonizing Mars within the decade.  The technology exists to get us to Mars, albeit one-way, not only because of the costs involved but the sheer logistics of this massive undertaking. 

The concept in a nutshell is the proposition for flights for two astronauts who are willing to travel one-way to Mars to set up a base, preferably in a martian ice-cave.  The reason for the ice-cave scenario is for the radiation protection as well as the abundance of water that exist there.  Realize, these astronauts are to travel to Mars to stay, there is no going home!  That’s why the proposal is for elderly astronauts to make the journey.  All I can say is…!  But I think there are some serious issues at stake here.

First, I believe no government would sponsor such a dramatic and final journey, even for the positive reasons of colonizing another planet.  Maybe a few eccentric billionaires might be interested in such a plan, but this is one expensive undertaking!  Second, there are an awful lot of physical and psychological issues at stake here.  Namely, personality differences that might exist in such a dramatic voyage, no matter how much pre-flight testing and examinations there are.  The list goes on and on…..

There was a survey conducted on to see how many people would be willing to take a one-way voyage to Mars, and surprisingly over 60 percent of the people who responded would sign on!  This is somewhat astounding, as signing on to an expedition such as this means saying goodbye to everything here on Earth.  Sure, there would be communication via electronic medium, but that could exacerbate the situation, in other words, make people extremely home-sick!

When I first read this story, all I could think about was imaging a Martian voyager looking out the spacecraft porthole window at a receding Earth and having a change of mind……….A nightmare scenario indeed!