I’ve Got a Little List

Scientists propose one-way trips to Mars:

AP — Two scientists are suggesting that colonization of the red planet could happen faster and more economically if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America – not expecting to go home. “The main point is to get Mars exploration moving,” said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University professor who co-authored an article that seriously proposes what sounds like a preposterous idea. … Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies, a physicist at Arizona State University, argue that humans must begin colonizing another planet as a hedge against a catastrophe on Earth. They believe the one-way trips could start in two decades. … Mars is a six-month flight away, and it has surface gravity, a thin atmosphere, frozen water, carbon dioxide and essential minerals. The two scientists propose the missions begin with two two-person teams, in separate ships that would serve as living quarters on the planet. More colonists and regular supply ships would follow. The technology already exists, or is within easy reach, they wrote. By not taking the extra fuel and provisions necessary for a return trip to Earth, the mission could cut costs by 80 percent. … Both men contend that Mars has abundant resources to help the colonists become self-sufficient over time. They write that the colony should be next to a large ice cave, to provide shelter from radiation, plus water and oxygen. … “We are on a vulnerable planet,” Schulze-Makuch said. “Asteroid impact can threaten us, or a supernova explosion. If we want to survive as a species, we have to expand into the solar system and likely beyond.”

But whom shall we send? Well, I’ve got a little list…

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2 Responses to “I’ve Got a Little List”

  1. PaladinPhil Says:

    To be honest, it sounds like a great idea. Even if you used that “little list” to do so. After all, wasn’t Australia a former penal colony at one time? The only worry I have is that the technology needed can be a little daunting. Life there could be truly Hobbsian in nature.

    /Or hobbit if we live in little comfy burrows.

    • RoboMonkey Says:

      I’m all for the space program, and I agree with Robert Heinlein that “the Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in”; but it’s only a colony if the people sent there can actually live there, otherwise it’s just a suicide mission. Which might still be OK, depending on who gets sent.

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