Thursday, 19 February 2015

Life on Mars

Doctor FTSE recently Posted about the proposed one-way trip to Mars. This poses several interesting questions:

1. Obvious really, but why would anyone want to do this? Which leads to...

2. ...this is a perfect example of a catch 22 situation; something which is often misunderstood. For you would have to be very bright (presumably) to be chosen, and  obviously in your right mind. But would anyone in their right mind want to be catapulted into space, with just a handful of others, for the rest of his or her life?

3. There would have to be a doctor on board, but what if he died?

4. Sex.....hm. Tricky one, that.

5. Babies? Or would everyone be sterilised before they set off?

6. Somebody would presumably outlive everyone else, as someone would have to be last. Imagine being all alone on Mars....it's the stuff of nightmares.

7. Food. Very little variety, I'd assume. Unless they take cows, sheep, chickens etc with them. But then all these would need oxygen. And grass. No. It wouldn't work. And even I know you can't grow carrots on Mars.

8. Laundry? Are they going to take a washing machine and an infinite amount of washing powder with them? Can you dry laundry on Mars?

9. Hobbies, interests, reading material...would they have  a TV?

10. Falling out. Not out of Mars, but out with each other.  A handful of eccentric nerds, stuck with each other for ever (well, it would certain feel like it). How long would the honeymoon last? As a relationship counsellor, I think I can hazard a guess. Not long.

I'm not volunteering. Would you?


31 comments:

  1. I agree (although the laundry bit didn't enter my mind) I think the young man who wants to do this is a bit...strange.......

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  2. Although I am a space enthusiast and all for human space travel, I love life on Earth way too much to be willing to give it up for something as bleak, lonely and dangerous as life on Mars. But then, of course, asking myself the question is futile - not in a million years would I be chosen, what with my poor eyesight, advanced age and no scientific background.

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    1. Meike, for me, space is fine, so long as it stays up there and I stay down here. We have a kind of agreement.

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    2. Couldn't agree more with that comment Frances

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  3. I suppose similar things might have been thought in the days when people were looking for places that they didn't even know were there. As for Mars it really is Catch 22 and, to be honest, this is one thing which I think is supremely unimportant when there are so many things on this earth that need to be sorted.

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    1. You're absolutely right, Graham. Wise man.

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  4. My issues would be the lack of a dentist and not being able to tell anyone about the trip - or make money from the book, film and merchandise!

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    1. But no book signings, Libby, that's a positive, isn't it?

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  5. It's all hype for a future TV 'Reality' show which will be filmed in some desert. Of course no-one is going to live on Mars.

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    1. Good point, Cro. I hadn't thought of that.

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  6. I could recommend a couple of folk for the trip.

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    1. Yes. All the party leaders, for a start. But sadly, they haven't got the brains.

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    2. I meant to ask.
      #4. Sex? is that sex as I think of it or is it sex as in what the queen gets potatoes delivered in.

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    3. Depends on how you think of sex,
      Adrian. And potatoes, come to that.

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  7. I like Cro's comment….he could be right!

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    1. Frances, in which cases instead of being very bright, these people are incredibly stupid. Interesting.

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  8. I didn't even think of any of the practical details as it all seems like a sci-fi story at the moment! But daughter and I listened open-mouthed to the young woman on TV who is in the short-list and excited about it. Even more bizarre, her mother said she was proud of her. Doesn't she know her daughter will never come home again!

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    1. Perhaps they don't get on, Rosemary. In which case, it's the perfect solution.

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  9. I can't believe it will ever happen, not in the near future anyway. It is either a big publicity stunt, or the world really has gone crazy.

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    1. I have a horrible feeling it will, Maggie. We have very strange priorities.

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  10. Ray Bradbury wrote a wonderful short story about the last survivor from a group who settled on Mars. No surprise that he went mad. Count me out.

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  11. I wouldn't. But then I never wanted to be an explorer of faraway uninhabited places on earth either. I guess there must have been quite a few adventurous souls in the past who dared go off into the Great Unknown though (without promises of a return ticket, medical help or television) - or a lot of the earth would still be unmapped too. Crazy as a one way trip to Mars does seem - it also strikes me that going off to take part in certain wars seems even crazier. (Much discussion here just now about young men whose parents fled here from war, going back to fight for the terror regime... In comparison, I have to say that actually makes going off to explore another planet sound like a good idea.)

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    1. At least those you mention stood a chance of coming home, DT...?

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    2. Question is, what do they consider as home... That discussion goes too far beyond your topic here, though. But something else sprung to mind for me - check out the Wiki article on Aniara, a long poem written in 1956 by Swedish author and Nobel Prize laureate Harry Martinsson, which relates the fictional tragedy of a space ship originally bound for Mars. It's been a long time since I read it in full... But it came to mind when I started thinking along the lines of "aren't we all just on a journey through space and limited in time anyway"...

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    3. Thank you, DT. I'll check out that link!

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  12. No, I don't fancy it at all. I wouldn't be that keen on going just for a few weeks, either.

    They'd have to take enough food and water to last the rest of their lives, wouldn't they? They'd need a big rocket for that.

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    1. I suppose water would be recycled......hmmm. And food...I've no idea. The whole thing sounds horrible. I'll stay down here with you, Patsy!

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  13. I was thinking of going but now you've put me off.

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    1. You didn't think it through, Wendy, did you? You owe me.

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