As plans for the first human settlement on Mars are announced, we should think very clearly about what the whole point of it is.
I wasn’t born when the first man landed on the moon, but my father still recounts the story of how the whole street flocked to the house he shared with his parents and an ultra-rare gadget (a black and white television!) to watch Neil Armstrong land on the moon.
Although many people my age and younger will probably never experience the same level of excitement at a scientific breakthrough that truly revolutionises our understanding of the universe, I think most of us appreciate the fact that the first human settlement on Mars is a big thing.
But Mars One, as the project is called, is all a bit self-centred and indulgent, isn’t it?
Really, now, do we need to send two groups of people to Mars where they won’t be able to enjoy most of life’s simple pleasures (sex, most foods, etc.) just to prove that we can?
Well, since it’s voluntary, why not?
The process has been a simple one, so far. An online application open to all nationalities got those interested into one pot. Mars One then shortlisted them and now we have the first group of people being trained to go and live on Mars – until they die. There’s really no return or getting cold feet in this one.
The conditions won’t be very favourable either. They’ll have to wear special suits at all times and live in pressurised cabins. They’ll also have to learn to forgo human contact, and I really hope that no one ends up alone before the second group of people makes it to Mars.
For now, procreation on Mars is off the cards too and there will be no pets or anything of the sort. It’s going to be a lonely and somewhat tragic existence, but why are we doing it?
Well, it gives us hope. It’s our New World, and it will create new opportunities for future generations, particularly as our natural resources are becoming ever more depleted. It also brings us closer together and allows us to shed our ideas of ethnicity, religion and gender to unite us under one, common purpose.
Will it be successful? We’ll find out in 2028.
What do you think of the Mars One mission? Would you go? Are they crazy to?
Let us know in the comments section!