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Mission to Mars


Alex Welch
Assistant Editor

  Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live on a different planet? I havenít, but apparently 202,586 people consider the thought an enticing endeavor.

 That figure represents the number of applicants who submitted their interest to Mars One, a venture that intends to put a colony of humans on the Red Planet by 2023. Mars One is a nonprofit foundation with a mission of establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars. Bold? Quite. Insane? Potentially.

 Mars One received hundreds of thousands of applications for its first one-way trip to the fourth rock from the sun. Applicants were required to submit a video and pay a registration fee (up to $73) to be eligible for the trip. Over the next few years, the field of applicants is supposed to be narrowed down through some type of reality television contest/show. There isnít a definite course of action right now, but thatís how Mars One expects to fund part of the trip.

 Ultimately, the foundation will select four people to make the trek to Mars and serve as the inaugural settlers on Mars. The technology of our time makes this concept entirely feasible. However, how could you legitimately be excited about traveling to Mars with no plans to ever return to Earth?

 When I first learned about this mission, the only thing I could think of was, ďYou better love the three people youíre shipping out with.Ē A journey to Mars, in this particular case, is estimated to be around seven months. Seven months in a shuttle with three other (somewhat) stran-gers. Hope you guys are all fans of ďModern Family,Ē youíll have plenty to talk about for the next eternity!

 But honestly, what is appealing about a one-way trip to Mars? I can understand the desire to go into space, and even to be the first person to set foot on the Red Planet, but how can you justify living there? The current renderings depict interconnected inflatable living quarters, giving each person his or her own room. The settlers are supposed to grow plants inside for food. If they donít serve Baconators or Chick-fil-A sandwiches on Mars, Iím not sure a steady diet of house salads will cut it for me.

 Aside from the luxuries of modern society, you would be abandoning everyone you know. A video call from Mars would result in a seven-minute delay Ö for both parties. So, you can have a full conversation with your parents about their retirement plans in roughly one week.

 Even if you wanted to return to Earth, would it be possible? Mars One doesnít appear to have a ďhomesick fund.Ē One-way trip doesnít appear to be a suggested phrase. Plus, living on Mars would alter your body. Thereís less gravity, which leads to changes in your circulation, bone density, etc. Could a person survive upon returning to Earth?

 Unfortunately, the application period for Mars One ended in August, so if Iím currently breaking the news to you about this plan, I apologize for not spreading the word earlier. Iím actually doing you a favor, though. Donít go to Mars. Youíll never come back, and you donít even know if youíll survive. Is that worth going down in history as the first human to ever set foot there? I guess thatís cool, but I can set my own records on Earth. How about becoming the first person to sit on a couch, eat chicken wings and watch football for an entire month straight? Equally as ambitious and 100 percent more fun.

 I can appreciate the sentiment of wanting to embark of something humans have never done before, but once you get to Mars, whatís next? If thereís a cantina like the one from Star Wars, count me in. Otherwise, I feel like boredom would set in quickly.


  Alex is an editor who would eat at Waffle House every day if he didnít care about his health.




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