New Horizons

Did you hear about Elon Musk’s plans, outlined yesterday at the 67th annual International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico?

He wants to go to Mars. Not just a billionaire taking a jaunt, but he wants to build a colony there. Put a bunch of stuff up there, engineer reuseable ships so they don’t have to build them again and again, send out teams every time Earth and Mars are close… He believes with SpaceX’s new rockets, they can make the trip take three months.

Musk isn’t the only one. Mars One had 78,000 hopefuls in the first two weeks they were accepting applications. Mars One, I should point out, doesn’t plan to bring its people back from Mars. Their idea to cut costs is to make it a one-way trip. They plan to raise the money doing reality-tv stuff, as their astronauts train and learn to live and work together.

These scientists think it’s better to send older people if it’s one-way. Apparently the thinking goes that 1) older means they won’t be having babies after the radiation exposure and 2) they won’t mind going there for the rest of their lives, since they don’t have much time left. I guess.

NASA is thinking about where to start.

I love the idea of going to Mars, though I can see the point of someone in my Twitter feed yesterday, who said we had no business taking and mucking up another planet instead of fixing what we’ve done to this one. Honestly, I think we should do both–take to the stars and save our own planet. I think we can, if we decide we want to.

So yeah. Mars. As I said, I love the idea. But as much as I love to explore, and want to see everything, I can’t convince myself I’d enjoy looking at this out my window every morning.

Bonneville Crater, Spirit rover

I would know I was on another world, and that would be exciting! But then I’d have to put my spacesuit on and get to work. And I’m just not a fan of hard, manual labor. So realistically, I think I’ll stick to going to space (unless we colonize somewhere much more fun!) in my imagination.

Then again…the way life is going right now, I’m not gonna deny I went looking for the Mars One application. I love Earth, but a lot of things ON Earth are kinda getting me down.

Would you go?



One Comment:

  1. …y’know, I would miss Earth and certain people on it. I need trees and mountains and surface water. But…I still remember how I felt seeing the panoramic colour photos from the Spirit rover 12 years ago. In the (highly unlikely) event I was offered the opportunity to go, I’d have a hard time saying no.

    But I’d settle for a brief trip to Earth orbit. I’m just waiting for space tourism to take off. (And to win the lottery so I can afford it. Would help if I bought lottery tickets though.)

    I may or may not have been brainwashed by Star Trek at a young age…

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