Stories tagged space colonization

Oct
23
2008

2 planets and a moon: We keep candy and waterslides on the one on the left, flags on the one in the bottom right, and astronauts on the one in the top right. Simple.
2 planets and a moon: We keep candy and waterslides on the one on the left, flags on the one in the bottom right, and astronauts on the one in the top right. Simple.Courtesy Bluedharma
Way-hey-haaaiit one second there! Why did I write that headline? That seems a little incendiary for a reasonable proposal from a national hero, JGordon. We had better think things out a little more before we write them down.

So, Buzz Aldrin is in the news. The science news, anyway. The 78-year-old former astronaut—the second man to set foot on the moon—is suggesting that the first manned mission to Mars should leave its astronauts on the planet for good. With all of the expense and effort that a Mars mission would take, he believes that even spending a year or a year and a half on the red planet wouldn’t be worth it. The astronauts, he says, should go with the intention of staying for the rest of their lives, like pioneers.

Eventually the first men and women on Mars could be joined by others, forming a colony of perhaps 30 scientists. After a few decades, when they reach 65 or so, they could retire on Mars, or perhaps get picked up by a ship and returned to earth.

What about that, Buzzketeers? Think about spending the rest of your life on Mars, with just a few people to keep you company (except for, you know, radio communication). Kind of a crazy idea, but kind of awesome, I think. Think about what that’d be like—the isolation, low gravity, greater exposure to cosmic rays (that’s bad)… but a whole new planet!

Would any of you guys be willing to go to Mars, if it meant you’d be leaving the earth forever?