My wife and I sat down and briefly discussed sending in an application to the Mars One mission. Crazy? Beyond a doubt, but both of believe in the advancement of science and understand that great strides sometimes come with extraordinary sacrifices and risks. In the end we felt age would have quickly ruled us out by the time the proposed 2024 launch happened. Ultimately, as a thought experiment had we applied and got accepted would we have gone? I believe Amy would have waffled because she likes her comforts, and I believe I would have accepted. But we’ll never know, will we?
Over 200,000 people submitted applications for the one way trip proposed by the Mars One mission. They would have a one way ticket to Mars where they would establish a permanent base to spend out their final days until they died. The proposal is to create a reality TV show and use that as a method to fund part of the mission, which is proposed to start with unmanned missions in 2018, and the first team of four lifting off for the red planet in 2024.
Director Skylar Nielsen created a short documentary gathering the thoughts of five applicants and how the trip might impact their lives, families and friends. You can watch the documentary Mars One Way below.
After watching Mars One Way I can’t help but come away with a sense of sadness because the prevailing feeling I get from these five individuals is they seem a bit forlorn and are only wanting to go to Mars because they don’t want to be on Earth. Not necessarily because they believe an ultimate sacrifice is worthy of great scientific advancement. That’s a sad testament to the society we’ve become. Some of it comes across as a “Beam me up Scotty, this planet sucks!” kind of feeling. I’m not trying to knock them because they did have the guts (and youth) to actually go through with the first stage of the process, while I’ll just be sitting in front of the television watching events unfold if Mars One comes to fruition. And I hope it does . . . somehow. I’m afraid that our risk averse society will somehow cause this to fail by external pressure. If it fails I want it to fail of its own accord . . . at least trying to do something great before succumbing to the mewling of vocal milquetoast. I don’t want Mars One to fail because society is up in arms over the choices of free willed individuals who are putting no one else at risk but themselves.