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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  One-way ticket to Mars, says astronauts

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Author Topic:   One-way ticket to Mars, says astronauts
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-23-2008 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AFP: Mars pioneers should stay there permanently, says Buzz Aldrin
The distance between the Red Planet and Earth varies between 55 million (34 million miles) and more than 400 million kms (250 million miles).

Even at the most favourable planetary conjunction, this means a round trip to Mars would take around a year and a half.

"That's why you [should] send people there permanently," said Aldrin. "If we are not willing to do that, then I don't think we should just go once and have the expense of doing that and then stop."

...Aldrin said the vanguard could be joined by others, making a colony around 30 people.

"They need to go there more with the psychology of knowing that you are a pioneering settler and you don't look forward to go back home again after a couple a years," he said.

"At age 30, they are given an opportunity. If they accept, then we train them, at age 35, we send them. At age 65, who knows what advances have taken place. They can retire there, or maybe we can bring them back."

The day before Aldrin made his comments in France, Bill Anders expressed a similar sentiment in Dallas, Texas. Participating in a panel discussion that also included NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, Anders not only endorsed the idea of a one-way trip to Mars, but volunteered to be on the crew.
This is serious, don't be misled, but we've spoken about risk and we've spoken about old age, one of the major misconceptions about the Mars program is that you spend a lot of time getting the crew back. I will go on record as volunteering to make a one-way trip to Mars and solve half of your problem!

Apollo Redux
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Posts: 346
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 10-23-2008 05:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmmmm...very interesting. It makes sense, but in this climate of zero tolerance for human jeopardy, it's very doubtful that the public would support this idea.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 10-23-2008 11:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"They can retire there, or maybe we can bring them back."
MAYBE??? Gee, I know that Mars is red but there's no need to turn it into a 21st century gulag. Unbelievable.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 10-25-2008 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why so unbelievable?

Did the settlers of the old American West ever expect to return to the east coast once their wagon trains departed for the Oregon Trail?

No. They knew that they were going to be starting a new life in a new place. They would receive occasional news from back home in the form of newspapers or letters carried by later wagon trains (resupply missions).

The idea makes a lot of sense -- but it would take a strong advocate to convince people of the value of the effort.

If nothing else, the expedition should be sent for much longer than the time until the next launch opportunity to return. Keep the expedition on Mars for 10 years or so t really get some value from the effort.

It's a fantastic idea, it will take a serious commitment from the participants, but there would be adequate volunteers willing to take on the challenge.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 10-25-2008 09:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
They knew that they were going to be starting a new life in a new place.
Because we're going to Mars to "start a new life"? Why? Are we running away from something? We gave up on Spaceship Earth? It's over? As I said unbelievable.

Gilbert
Member

Posts: 935
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 10-25-2008 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John, I agree with what you're saying 100%. Unbelievable? No, believable.

But will it ever happen? Not likely.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 10-25-2008 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find it hard to believe in something that is "unlikely" to happen!

mjanovec
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Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 10-25-2008 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I personally think it's a terrible idea.

If you send thirty 35 year-olds to Mars, how many of them are going to have a change of heart after a year or two (not to mention five or ten) and want to return home to Earth? All it would take is a couple of disgruntled people and you'd have a breakdown in the team dynamic...or worse. After all, you'd be asking a relatively young person to commit a good portion of their remaining life to a barren and hostile environment.

How would they deal with sickness and disease? Sure you could have a doctor or two among them, but can't have specialists in all fields of medicine. Or maybe it's your doctor who gets sick. Surely, one has to plan that not everyone will return home alive in a scenario like this.

A more important question is what would these people do for 30 years on Mars, other than set up a colony and merely survive? Presumably, they would be in a settlement in one location. While they would likely have capabilities of traveling relatively short distances from their settlement for research purposes, they would still be tied to one location that they would have to return to frequently, if not every "night." Assuming one could even find a location worthy of study for 30 years, it would still require a visit beforehand to confirm the validity of the site for extensive research. (Admittedly, that's likely a job for rovers...)

And, most importantly of all, how would we be able to mail them our autograph requests?

I think a better solution would be to set up a colony and rotate crews every couple years or so, sort of like one does with the ISS (albeit in longer intervals than with the ISS). Each crew rotation could be scheduled at intervals when the return journey home is shortest. That way, you still learn the lessons of living and working on Mars, but aren't asking anyone to sacrifice the remainder of their lives on a barren planet.

All times are CT (US)

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