Just Asking: Scientists Offer One-Way Trips to Mars?
Anyone want to go to Mars and live there forever?
Two scientists, Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies, have proposed sending people to Mars on a one-way ticket.
Schulze-Makuch and Davies aren't envisioning this trip taking place 100 years in the future. They want to send humans to colonize the red planet as soon as possible.
Believe it or not, we have a few questions.
One of the proposing scientists, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, says the main point is to get Mars exploration underway.
He adds, according to the Associated Press, "We are on a vulnerable planet. 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."
Can humans really live on Mars?
No one has done it yet, but both scientists say Mars has enough resources to help first-time settlers become self-sufficient. The two believe "the colony should be next to a large ice cave, to provide shelter from radiation, plus water and oxygen."
Could the first settlers return to Earth?
If it's up to the scientists, space voyagers would remain on Mars. It's much cheaper to send people one way. Plus, the scientists say colonizing the planet would progress at a faster pace if people had no expectation of returning home.
NASA doesn't think we're ready. When Obama proposed going to Mars by the mid-2030s, he wasn't suggesting the Red Planet's visitor wouldn't return to Earth.
Who should go first?
A crop of older individuals, ideally two at first, both in their 60s. Between the exposure to radiation and lack of medical resources, the mission would reduce a person's lifespan. The thought is, why not send old people? They're much closer to being dead already.
How long does it take to get there?
The journey to Mars takes six months. If you wanted to come back, don't expect a quick trip to your cozy couch here on Earth.
Would anybody actually take this offer?
Despite NASA's kibosh on the idea, the scientists think many humans would jump at the chance to start a new life on Mars.