By Jeff Girod
Danish millionaire Bas Lansdorp, founder of the Mars One Project, has promised to put humans on the Red Planet by 2023. Applications to join the Mars mission are open to anyone—no experience necessary—and will soon be available at mars-one.com.
The website asks that all potential astronauts be “intelligent, creative, psychologically stable and physically healthy.”
Oh yeah, there’s one other catch: If selected, you’re going to die on Mars. It’s a one-way trip, baby. Bon voyage!
According to mars-one.com, “Once on Mars, there is no means to return to Earth. Mars is home. A grounded, deep sense of purpose will help each astronaut maintain his or her psychological stability…”
Surface temperatures on Mars get as low as negative-200 degrees. Your “sense of purpose” and “psychological stability” ain’t going to mean diddly when you’re 250 million miles from Earth, freezing off your space balls.
Here’s a better idea. Select 8 wannabe astronauts, then crash land them into Rubidoux and tell them it’s Mars. There’s enough rocks and air that smells like rocket fuel that they’ll never know the difference.
Or how about postponing the Mars mission until somebody comes up with the second half of the plan and it becomes a round trip? I don’t think you’re allowed to describe a mission as “a success” if you never hear from the crew again—unless the mission is to murder a group of people you despise most and they all just happen to want to be astronauts.
Every cable movie I’ve ever seen about astronauts traveling to Mars ends with one of them going crazy and trying to kill everybody. I don’t know the first thing about science or astronomy, but whenever I hear a story about a mission to Mars, I immediately think, “Oh yeah, everyone aboard that spaceship is f@*#ed.”
The Mars One Project says it has already received more than 8,000 emails from interested volunteers. Of course they have. You can find anything on the Internet: Shiatsu massage, a kayak, a transvestite who can keep a secret . . . these are all the kinds of things you should search for online. What you shouldn’t search for is a bunch of people to fly a suicide mission to Mars.
I certainly won’t be applying to board any rocket ship. I don’t even like long car rides.
An entire generation of heroic men risked their lives to land on the moon some 40 years ago and what did it really accomplish? Half of America thinks it was faked and the other half has a chance to one-up Neil Armstrong by winning a contest.
The first flight to Mars will cost about $6 billion, according to Lansdorp, and $4 billion for every trip afterward. Another multimillionaire named Dennis Tito is also planning a mission to Mars. Plus several private companies intend to offer ridiculously expensive thrill rides to the moon.
I wish I had so much money that I actually had to attempt travel to other planets just so I could find new ways to spend it. But instead of “discovering new worlds,” how about we spend a little coin to try and fix up this one?
Don’t get me wrong: A mission to Mars sounds great. But there are lots of other “missions” I’d prefer mankind accomplish before we blast off to colonize new worlds.
Not talking in movie theaters, how about a “mission” for that? I can think of a few craters I’d like to plant an American flag in.
Or better yet, how about one new Star Wars movie that doesn’t suck? That would be a giant leap for mankind.
Go ask every homeless person everywhere if they want us to pour billions of dollars into going to Mars . . . or if they’d like a sandwich and a place to sleep where nobody is going to try to stab or rape them.
I’m not here to tell anybody how to live their lives, but c’mon, as a society not getting raped/stabbed should generally rank higher than some kooky rich guy’s quest to play spaceman.
Or maybe you don’t agree with me, in which case I sincerely mean this next sentence: I hope you win the contest to Mars.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.