Monday, November 15, 2010

One-Way Ticket to Mars? Any Takers?

Have you heard about this?  "Scientists propose one-way trips to Mars" because "human travel to Mars could happen much more quickly and cheaply if the missions are made one-way".  Well, I can't really argue with the logic, but I wonder what kind of people would hear that proposal and say, "Sign me up!"

I guess my initial reaction ("No way, no how, never-ever, unh-uh!") is not a particularly useful gauge of the average person's opinion of the idea, because that is also my reaction to the idea of going into space at all (even one of those brief joyrides that are supposedly going to become so commonplace).  I'll leave that to other people.  Me, I'm staying here on home-sweet-Earth, thanks all the same.  I'll take my chances with the asteroids, etc., right here.

That-- asteroids-- is what these types of articles always seem to mention as the reason that colonization is so crucial.  They casually inform us that the Earth will probably be destroyed, sooner or later, so we don't want to leave all our eggs in one basket.  Gee, thanks for trying to ruin my mood this morning, random journalists.  I really appreciate these frequent reminders that the whole world could go ka-blooey in the blink of an eye.  It makes life so cozy and cheerful.  *grump grump grump*  Look, I'm perfectly fine not thinking about crap like that, so would you mind keeping your daydreams of cataclysm to yourselves?

One of my favorite lines from the article?  "They argue that it would be little different from early settlers to North America, who left Europe with little expectation of return."  ...Yeah, except that most of those people were going in search of a better life for themselves and their families... and there would be quite a few other people with them, including maybe their immediate family (and if not, they probably intended to have the family follow them eventually)... and they probably thought that if worse came to worst, they might possibly be able to find their way back to the Old Country... oh, and they were "only" going to a different continent, not a whole 'nother planet

But apart from those things, yeah, it's totally the same thing. (Good grief.)

(By the way, I'm not saying this won't or shouldn't happen... just... I'm really glad I'm not the one making the trip!)