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Scientists Propose One-Way Trips To Mars

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the thousands-would-do-it dept.

Mars 839

vortex2.71 writes "Invoking the spirit of Star Trek in a scholarly article entitled 'To Boldly Go,' two scientists contend human travel to Mars could happen much more quickly and cheaply if the missions are made one-way. They argue that it would be little different from early settlers to North America, who left Europe with little expectation of return. 'The main point is to get Mars exploration moving,' said Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University, who wrote the article in the latest Journal of Cosmology with Paul Davies of Arizona State University. The colleagues state — in one of 55 articles in the issue devoted to exploring Mars — that humans must begin colonizing another planet as a hedge against a catastrophe on Earth."

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frist BJ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232008)

on Mars.

Re:frist BJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232076)

You're Winner!

Re:frist BJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232114)

*Weiner

Re:frist BJ (1)

kenboldt (1071456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232280)

Hot Dog, we have a...

Re:frist BJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232298)

*Wiener

Little difference? (4, Insightful)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232022)

At least they could breathe and had water when the colonized America.

Re:Little difference? (5, Funny)

huckamania (533052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232070)

Just ship corpses, which will save a lot of money and time trying to figure out how to keep the humans alive on the way there.

Re:Little difference? (4, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232154)

Well, if sending LIVE people...is this voluntary, or can we vote who goes to Mars one way.

Frankly, I've got a LOT of politicians in mind that I'd happily vote off the planet!!

:)

But seriously, if nothing else, why not take volunteers from people on death row, that were sufficiently intelligent? Go through training, go to Mars, stay there and you get to live.

I figure some of them might take the choice, and we'd be solving a few problems at once that way...

Re:Little difference? (5, Interesting)

sick_soul (794596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232244)

hey I am not in a death row, and I would volunteer. I am already well trained for that mission.
If they provide enough resources for a lifetime, I would not feel more alone on Mars than right now here among billions of people who do not give a shit about me.

Re:Little difference? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232454)

If they provide enough resources for a lifetime, I would not feel more alone on Mars than right now here among billions of people who do not give a shit about me.

I would miss you. Posting AC so I won't ruin your despair.

Re:Little difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232262)

Fuck that, I'd go and I'm a (mostly) productive member of society.

Re:Little difference? (3, Insightful)

Partaolas (1926386) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232320)

Why is everyone assuming that the "colonists" will die within days of arrival? I am willing to bet that there will be lots of volunteers for one-way missions to Mars (provided good chances of survival).

Re:Little difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232394)

Indeed. The idea is to get people TO Mars to begin exploration. Sending them with the expectation of dying quickly defeats this purpose. The one-way idea is that you'll be saving time and money planning on how to get them back to Earth but make sure they'll have all the resources they'll need when they get there to have a chance at staying alive.

Re:Little difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232362)

Just like Australia! Because in history class, that sounded exactly like the good old days we all want to bring back.

(Do read some Heinlein -- fact is, although I consider his tales crazily optimistic, we just might actually solve problems that way -- dumping folks with demonstrated balls in a hostile frontier environment gives you a better shot at revolution and decent self-government than just about anything else you might try.)

Re:Little difference? (2, Funny)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232396)

i'm sure sending a bunch of violent, possibly psychopatic murderers, is a great idea...

Re:Little difference? (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232410)

It worked for Australia.

Re:Little difference? (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232482)


Mod parent up hilarious. If I had the mod points, I would.

Re:Little difference? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232502)

Fire up a bunch of weapons and some orbital cameras and you probably just came up with a way to pay for the mission, real life subscription Running Man. Who loves you, and who do you love?

Re:Little difference? (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232460)

But seriously, if nothing else, why not take volunteers from people on death row, that were sufficiently intelligent?

I already see the ad. "NASA looking for experienced geologists and planetologists. Requirements: at least 2 PhDs, at least 1 capital offense. Must be willing to relocate. Huge travel bonuses!"

Re:Little difference? (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232512)

I'd sign up right now. Do they have tubes on Mars? What kind of bandwidth can I expect?

Re:Little difference? (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232420)

Hell, at that point you don't even have to worry about orbiting or atmospheric re-entry when you get there. Just line up the shot and let them go splat when they get there.

Re:Little difference? (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232452)

If we ran out of corpses we could send our politicians. There would be more than enough hot air to go around.

Re:Little difference? (5, Interesting)

cronco (1435465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232078)

They had to spend months with only what drinkable water they could carry, which was at that time as daunting as it is now to carry the fuel(energy) needed to get to Mars

Re:Little difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232168)

And of course the humans they met already living there, many of whom were actually helpful at the beginning.

Re:Little difference? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232192)

But once they got there, all it took was a nice fire to make drinkable water. Plus, there were already people there when they got there.

Re:Little difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232092)

That may be, but it would not be too much of a challenge to keep colonists alive. I realize that colonies will fail, but I've been thinking that a one-way trip is the answer for a long time. The trips would be expensive, sure, but think what we could do with two planets!

Re:Little difference? (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232510)

"but think what we could do with two planets!"

Not too much, I guess. You need at least one more to play billiards, not to mention pool.

Re:Little difference? (3, Funny)

euyis (1521257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232130)

Look at the brighter side - there're no dangerous animals and agressive natives to worry about!

Re:Little difference? (4, Funny)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232208)

You obviously haven't seen the documentary that Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in on this topic.

Terraform! (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232350)

Remember SimEarth, where you had to make Mars habitable by sending over CO2 generators to create enough greenhouse gases to warm up the atmosphere enough to support liquid water and eventually life? Let's do that! Nevermind that it took a couple hundred years...

Well, maybe if we could do it in a bunch of greenhouses, we'd get there a bit faster. Except, aw hell, we have enough trouble just trying to do that here on Earth.

OK, maybe it's more fun to just hurl ice comets at it. Lets commandeer some!

All right, no more Spore for me :/

Re:Little difference? (2, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232388)

Yep. At least back when the US colonization was occurring, there were no expectations of support from "back home".

Any settlers to Mars would need certain things provided to them, regularly, for the foreseeable future (at least a year or two):

* air
* food
* water

Nobody capable of handling the low-G environment and able to improve the living situation there is going to mess around with that when the agency funding the trips says, "we're only sending you there, for financial reasons". That does not invoke a feeling of security. What if they can't afford to launch an air payload 12 months down the road?

Furthermore, settlers in the US West at least had the opportunity to come home. They had their wagons. They had their tools, and a small degree of food. Provided they didn't die from something else, "leaving" was always an option. Not so for Mars-bound "colonists".

This sounds like a very, very bad idea. At the very least it's a political nightmare waiting to happen. "They left my brother/sister/daughter/son on Mars to die of asphyxiation because they wouldn't provide him with the promised air!" Maybe it'd work when/if there's an established permanent base (ie not requiring as regular resupply and somewhat able to grow food and produce air), but not until.

Re:Little difference? (4, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232478)

Any settlers to Mars would need certain things provided to them, regularly, for the foreseeable future (at least a year or two):

* air
* food
* water

There's no technical reason not to launch all the equipment the settlers would need to be self sufficient in those areas all at once in a Project Orion [wikipedia.org] vehicle.

Re:Little difference? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232528)

True, but a better generalization: They saw something there, better than where they came from.

This is probably the way Mars will be colonized. It will be done by a country like China, where those risks seem nice compare to being under the heel of the oppressive government.

do you still have to pay child support? (2, Funny)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232032)

try to serve someone with a lawsuit there

Re:do you still have to pay child support? (4, Funny)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232266)

About 15 years ago my dad told my mum that if he had the chance for a one way trip to Mars he would take it even if he wouldn't last very long.
She wouldn't speak to him for a week.

unethical (1)

dzafez (897002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232046)

Well, seems like, not only cloning scientists lose their sense for moral after all.

Re:unethical (1)

dzafez (897002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232188)

I knew it, the thought is not new http://xkcd.com/695/ [xkcd.com]

Re:unethical (2, Insightful)

mibe (1778804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232190)

It's not unethical if they volunteer for it. I won't touch the cloning thing though, seems a bit off-topic.

Re:unethical (1)

TheoCryst (975577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232216)

What's unethical about volunteering for a one-way trip? It's not like they're suggesting that people be forced to abandon their lives and homes to colonize a ball of dust millions of kilometers away. If you're willing to sacrifice everything to be one of these pioneers, power to you!

And to be completely honest, it's something I would gladly consider depending on who came along with me for the ride. Who wouldn't like to be the first one to get some action on an alien world?

Re:unethical (1)

pla (258480) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232294)

Well, seems like, not only cloning scientists lose their sense for moral after all.

First of all, "one way" doesn't necessarily mean they die. We could send a hell of a lot of unmanned supply dumps for the cost of upgrading from one-way to a round trip ticket.

Second, we would have no shortage of volunteers for such a mission even if it did mean certain death - Hell, I'd jump at the chance in a heartbeat.

Most people, I think, would like to believe their lives have meaning; you, and I, and 99.999% of all humans that ever lived or will live, however, will die in obscurity, having done nothing more significant than add to our overpopulation problem. I see no moral dilemma in letting a person die (voluntarily) for a higher cause.

Did anyone else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232048)

Immediately think of the "First Hundred" from the Red Mars trilogy by Kim Robinson?

Why send two at a time when you can send what amounts to a generation ship ready to seed a whole populace?

Re:Did anyone else... (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232106)

Except most of the first hundred were past reproductive age, or close to it. So that mission wasn't really about seeding a population so much as seeding a technological infrastructure.

Re:Did anyone else... (5, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232422)

If you're seeding technological infrastructure, why send people at all? Send ships of robots and parts, once the robots have assembled the habitat, pressurized it, prepared gardens, located water and what not, then you send people to live there.

I Picture... (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232050)

Us geeks volunteering in droves.

Not me though. I don't want to die cold and alone millions of miles from home. Unless of course they find Prothean artifacts.

Governator! (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232064)

Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be unemployed, they could get him for recruitment ads for one-way astronauts.

"Get your ass to Mars! Then stay there and form a colony."

Overall the idea of sending pioneers seems like a good one to me, although it also seems like we have a long way to go yet in the terraforming science to make it work?

Good idea! (1)

haeger (85819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232066)

There's a bunch of people that I wouldn't mind sending one way to mars! Or the Sun.

OK Boys (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232072)

OK boys, I need someone to take one for the team. The world will celebrate your sacrifice long after you perish on this journey. We'll even see if David Bowie will do a new version of "Major Tom" for you.

sign me up (1)

kel-tor (146691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232074)

Sign me up. I'll go.

Re:sign me up (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232358)

Same here. All Im asking for is a long chair for the last bits of moments.

I volunteer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232086)

More time to read books than here

Re:I volunteer (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232160)

Until you find that your kindle does not work in space......NOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo!

Looks like we have two volunteers. (3, Funny)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232088)

I think the authors, Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies, should be the first to go.

Re:Looks like we have two volunteers. (1)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232238)

The Arizona State University seems to have a whole lot of volunteers [slashdot.org] .

Sign me up! (5, Insightful)

NikolaiKutuzov (1226122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232094)

Three years ago I would have happily signed up for such an adventure, even if it was one-way. To be part of that, oh wow. These days, with a wife and a child, I guess I'll envy those who go, but wont be amongst them.

So I dont thinnk there be volunteers lacking, Even though I dont know wether they ft the general requirements of mental stability to be locked up in a can for a year. Even the early colonists of the Americas expected to make some money and then return. And even in the Americas it was a three month voyage on a ship, not a year in space.

But hell, what a ride.

Re:Sign me up! (2, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232218)

These days, with a wife and a child, I guess I'll envy those who go, but wont be amongst them.

I had a similar thought, and it made me wonder in turn if this could be a big opportunity for China and their generation of surplus men. If your prospects for a wife are limited, being a Mars pioneer has to look a lot more attractive.

Not quite the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232096)

Yeah, but people living in Sixteenth Century Europe left for reasons other than adventure. The socio-economic situation is slightly different now.

I'm seeing a reality hit! (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232100)

"Non-Survivor: Mars!" "Suicide Settlers" "Reds: All Out!"

We could start with a few people... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232108)

...by sending Wall Street and some of the Lehman Bros. folks over.

(yes, modbombers, that includes Kasich)

Re:We could start with a few people... (2, Insightful)

greebowarrior (961561) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232246)

Not really the kind of people we want to use to seed life on another planet. Perhaps they could set up the first colony on the Sun instead...

Re:We could start with a few people... (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232474)

Ah that's the beauty of the thing, come winter they will freeze to death.

Mars the new Australia? (0, Redundant)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232122)

Just give criminals sentenced to death or life without parole the option to get shot to Mars to help with exploration and initial infrastructure construction. I mean hell, can't be much more expensive than keeping them in prison for 40-50 years, and we actually see a benefit out of it.

Re:Mars the new Australia? (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232282)

Just what I was thinking.

But that's probably the first step towards making Mars an entirely separate society from Earth.

Re:Mars the new Australia? (3, Insightful)

wlad (1171323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232328)

Yeah, as it will already be hard enough to keep normal people psychologically stable all the way there, and from throwing each other out of the airlock, let's send criminals and crazies :) I don't think they will even arrive there. You could just as well shoot them on-spot.

Re:Mars the new Australia? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232414)

Assuming they live for a couple years in the process, it might actually be cheaper. Much of that prisoner cost is in things like healthcare; they get every little whim and need fulfilled, often better than people in the military or on private health insurance. (I once met a guy who had both hips and knees replaced while in prison. He didn't need the second knee replaced, but wanted it done to be 'consistent'.)

Re:Mars the new Australia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232416)

Yeah, but then what happens after several generations of separation?

They'll come up with whacky laws, just like Australia.
They'll come up with a funny accent, just like Australia.
They'll want to separate from Earth, just like Australia.
Devoid of all life, except weird, strange and extremely deadly creatures, just like Australia.
And they will be taller due to less gravity, just li.. oh wait a minute.

Re:Mars the new Australia? (3, Informative)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232444)

can't be much more expensive than keeping them in prison for 40-50 years

Ah, yes, the slashdot we all know and love. Some bozo claiming that it costs about the same to keep a person locked up in federal prison as it does to send him 45 light-minutes away to a place with no water and practically no atmosphere where absolutely everything will have to be sent up there. And of course, not even a symbolic attempt at showing some cost estimates. Yes indeed.

I vote we send all of the "Get our asses to Mars" crowd and leave them there. BTW, they should fund it themselves.

Re:Mars the new Australia? (1)

cwtrex (912286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232476)

I'd rather see criminals sentenced to life or death be given to medical research here on earth. It doesn't require them to posses any knowledge or training like a trip to Mars would and I believe the benefits we'd reap from them with the medical research could potentially be far more rewarding.

Heck, if you really want to use them for space travel purposes, we could use them to figure out how to do long-term cryopreservation.

Re:Mars the new Australia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232486)

It'd be nice, but on the off chance they do survive and get a colony up and moving do you want to have to send other people to a Mars colony run by ex-criminals?

Re:Mars the new Australia? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232494)

Just don't send anybody named Quinn Dexter. That would end poorly.

It's the traditional way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232124)

For most of human history, colonists went and stayed. It is only recently that travel has become so easy that you can go back to the old country for visits.

Scientist get's idea from PioneerONE tv show... (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232128)

That is the premise of Pioneer One.

the USSR sent up a one way mars team in the 80's and have been living on mars for 20 years.

Re:Scientist get's idea from PioneerONE tv show... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232228)

Way to spoiler! I was going to watch that one of these days.

Re:Scientist get's idea from PioneerONE tv show... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232442)

More like "Scientist gets idea from scientists 50 years ago that TV show also got idea from, and promotes it again in hopes that people will actually care about colonizing space this time around."

Seriously... just because you never heard of an idea before it was flashed in your face on a TV doesn't mean it didn't exist earlier, or that scientists would be more likely to watch that show than to read science papers. Moron.

if the us doesn't do it... (2, Insightful)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232146)

... the chinese most certainly will.

Re the article below this one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232170)

Where do I sign up the purveyors of fake AV software?

Does anyone else feel that this article... (1)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232200)

... misses the point of colonization?

Without "space gold" being identified as existing on Mars, no one is going to put up the funds to go there. Also there is no more slavery to do all the dirty work (like taking one way trips to friggin mars) and our current generation of robots are great but not able to colonize anything more than a crater

Re:Does anyone else feel that this article... (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232302)

Without "space gold" being identified as existing on Mars

Both the moon and Mars are loaded with thorium. Of course, the Earth is loaded with 130 trillion tons of it so even if we started using it for all our energy we wouldn't run out any time soon but it still might be valuable enough to ship back to Earth.

Re:Does anyone else feel that this article... (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232378)

In this case, there is a resource crunch; That resource being land to own.

mars has plenty of land to own, and being a whole planet, is sure to have natural resources that can be exploited, even if they are metaphorically "Higher up fruit" on the tree than those on earth.

When the lower branches are exhausted, that high up fruit looks more and more tempting.

Oxygen, there was Oxygen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232202)

A little difference between the conquer of the West and Mars, it I may. In Western America, at least at those times, there was an ATMOSPHERE, some slight chance to find water and eventually some not-alien cattle

hrmm (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232222)

Just pass a law that says if you're on mars the government will pay off your sub-prime mortgage and you'll have a plethora of volunteers in minutes.

China will do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232250)

My guess is that the Chinese will do this while the US frets about ethical issues. They have over 1.3 billion people and a different attitude toward ethics and human rights (not that that is a good thing). What better way for them to one-up the West than to lay claim to Mars. It will really be a Red mars.

Re:China will do this (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232464)

What better way for them to one-up the West than to lay claim to Mars.

Nobody can "lay claim" to Mars.... [wikipedia.org]

Re:China will do this (4, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232516)

That treaty won't be worth the paper it is printed on once some entity that has enough resources to defend its property rights actually makes a large investment in space.

Who first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232264)

If it's such a grand idea, I think Mr. Scientist should go first. Let us know how it goes.

Steven Hawking & George Soros (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232270)

I nominate Steven Hawking.

And George Soros since it will require a billionaire to fund it.

Re:Steven Hawking & George Soros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232488)

You must be listening to Rush Limbaugh

Logic of one way (1)

rakjr (18074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232308)

The first piece of logic on a one way trip is make it work or die. Survival is a strong motivator both for those being sent and for those who are gambling with the lives of others. If the odds of success are good, then I don't have a problem with it. This level of decision making happens daily with medical issues of "operator or die in xx months."

The second piece of logic is that every-thing that goes stays. Modular tech design and repurposing could provide additional resources that would take longer/multiple trips.

Last piece of logic to a one way trip. If planned with a minimum survival date (meaning if all guesses were wrong, it all fails, you are stuck with no way back) that does not exceed the time for a second trip, then it is not a complete do-or-die. It becomes a do-or-pray that the next trip does not have any delays. (Ok, that weakens the first motivator)

What do you call the first 2 lawyers we send? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232340)

A good start!

HG Wells (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232348)

H. G. Wells has taught us that it can't work the other way around, and those were super intelligent martians that were all brain! What makes us to arrogant to think we can do better? Wait..... that wasn't real was it.

Old news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232356)

I read about the idea of one-way missions in space books when I was a kid, and these books were at least 10 years old at the time. This isn't worth reading, it's an old idea and it's not even his. The movie 'Mission to Mars' even came out with the idea before this.

Not going to happen (3, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232360)

It's not going to happen. At least not in the western world. The US space program is highly political. NASA requires the good will of the congress. Since it would not be politically favourable to send people on a one way mission, NASA would never get funding for it.

Level 2: Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232370)

Because we did such a good job with level 1?

On Mars, we need to build up and sustain entire ecosystems. Most of us can't figure out how to live sustainably here on Earth.

Or maybe that's the point? We're sending people to Mars so they can, by necessity, learn how to live within their means and then to teach the rest of us?

Reception (1)

kenboldt (1071456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232372)

Can you hear me now?

Who writes this stuff? (0)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232398)

Oh sure, taxpayers like me are just dying to spend hundreds of billions of dollars so that a handful of deranged dipshits can star in some perverse terminal reality show. Think of the ratings! Think of the money that will be earned from the ads (although not even remotely enough to pay for the thing)!

This sort of thing needs to be privately funded. I do not want to increase the national debt and therefore my tax burden on moronic bullshit like this.

Do we care about Mars as a hedge? (2, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232466)

"that humans must begin colonizing another planet as a hedge against a catastrophe on Earth"

I wonder what fraction of the populace cares about the continuation of the human race. Do you? If a rogue planet were to one day pass through our solar system and smash earth on its way by, would you care about colonists on Mars continuing our culture and genetics? If you do care, why? If not, why not?

Huge difference... (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232472)

People left to colonize North America because they were trying to get away from something, usually tyrannical rule. These are scientists who would be voluntarily accepting a death sentence that might happen in 5 years, or maybe 2, or maybe right after launch. Either way, they would be leaving for the purpose of scientific advancement whereas colonists were leaving to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Also, what happens when they get there, or are enroute, and decide they want to come home? What a public relations nightmare.

Why no love? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34232484)

Everyone seems to think this is so ridiculous it is worth only ridicule. I honestly don't think it would be hard to find 4 people who want to be part of the first manned trip to another world, even if it would mean they never get to return home.

Lets try a comparison: N years of a daily grind, followed by another decade or two of balancing your withering finances against your eventual death? OR you could be instantaneously famous, have a permanent spot in the history books, and be a key part of the expansion of humanity to other worlds.

I volunteer! (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232492)

To boldly go where no man has gone before! Wouldn't really mind dying if this is the way I go.

Hmmm... (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232496)

If Mars has high-speed broadband internet access and the science chicks look/act more like Bernadette and less like Amy Farrah Fowler then sign me up.

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