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Moving to Mars – My Thoughts

If you have not been keeping up with our Mars news, there is a project called Mars One that is set to take settlers up to Mars. The stipulation? You can not return to earth once you have gone. This is a life long mission that can be both the coolest and the scariest thing there is. After all, how is life up there going to be? What is it like not being able to visit with family and friends ever again (except those that may go up to Mars with you)? Through this article I want to look at some things that come to mind regarding this exploration mission, as well as evaluate them. Please note that this will, therefore, be somewhat biased in some areas.

Laws... Or Lack Thereof

Probably the scariest thing is the lack of real rules there are up on Mars. We have tons of laws here on earth that we follow on a day to day basis, and yet we still have a lot of jails and courts for handling those who decide not to follow them. While I would not be too worried about the cases dealing with stuff like possession of drugs up there, the more dangerous crimes could be an issue. So how are the laws going to work up there? There is no way to know.

What is important to keep in mind with the laws is that even if the same ones we have here applied for space (and, more specifically, Mars), how would they be followed through on? The project is not going to be shipping people back to earth if they commit crimes, which means that a new sort of government of some type has to be created there in order to ensure that things are organized and everyone has some sort of rights. In a sense, it is a brand new civilization that is learning how to do things from scratch. How well is this going to end up working out? That is tough to say. But this is probably one reason why the Mars One project is also planned to include a type of reality television show!

The Reality Television Show

As stated, one of the things the Mars One project is going to lead to is a new reality television show. This is the biggest part of how the project will be earning its money, allowing it to exist in the first place. It is unsure exactly what the show will be based on, but it appears it will just be a general show that helps us see how the settlers in the new world get along and get things running. It can also be seen as being a social experiment, I think, being that there are no real rules or laws up there and so everyone has to get along on their own without any outside help. Unlike on earth where we can call for neighboring cities to help in major problems, for example, the people on Mars will have to rely solely on each other. Watching how this pans out is going to be interesting!

Getting to Mars

To be accepted in to the Mars One project, you have to pay a fee (I think it was $100) for the application portion. Not everyone who applies will be accepted, and it is unclear how many will be able to go up to space. A lot of people are under the misinterpretation that this trip is something you buy yourself in to. Really, what it is is simply a television show with an application fee to enter (as opposed to being chosen by recruiters and such) to get a spot. To choose who is able to join in on the flight, there are multiple things that are being taken in to consideration. For example, your expertise is a big part, as a new civilization is being created and certain people are going to be needed: medical professionals, teachers, etc. Each of these people will be responsible for helping share their knowledge with others so that the group can progress as a whole. Think of it as being like on earth but on a much smaller scale. I am sure things like background checks are also going to be used because it could be a little bit of a problem if there were a lot of people that have had a bad past being sent up. And being in good health is more than likely going to be one of the criteria as well, especially being that the space flight in itself requires you to be in great shape so you do not experience any bad complications.

I personally could not even imagine going up there. While I definitely think it would be an awesome experience and you get to be one of the first people to even go up to Mars, I just do not think that physically and mentally I would be able to handle it. The prospect of never being able to return to earth is another thing that turns me off, especially being that I am a strong family person and just can not see myself making a decision that puts me that far away from everyone I know. Sure, we meet new people there, but it is still far from being the same as being here. Plus, what happens if aliens attack?

Is it a Scam?

There are many people that believe the Mars One project might be a scam. What they are selling is a chance to get on a trip (and television show) to Mars in return for some money. But they have nothing to show for it, or even to show that they are capable of doing what they are going for at this point. Pretty much the money paid is like an investment towards helping them deal with their research and development. And then if the project is successfully finished up, then you get your chance to go take part in it and be a part of history.

I am really not sure what to think about the cost aspect. On one hand, I can see the view people have when they call it out as a scam, but on the other, I can also see that the company has to get their money from somewhere, and they need a lot of it. When we are dealing with something as expensive as finding and getting prepared to take people to Mars, I can definitely see the idea of crowd sourcing as being the right way to go. Otherwise, where is all of the money going to come from? We are not even talking about billions of dollars here, but probably hundreds of billions over the course of finishing the project. That money does not grow on trees!

Thinking About the Future

As of right now, we are not even completely sure that the project is going to be successful. We can hope and hope, but until it happens there is no telling what the result is going to be. For me, I remain hopeful that the entire project is a roaring success. I think that the benefits it will grant us in both psychological evaluations (in regards to seeing how the settlers react and act towards one another) and scientific ways are going to be well worth it. The knowledge that would be gained from the trip and the planet itself is invaluable, and I think that the people running the project can make a lot of money and make some awesome contributions that affect the way we live, even on earth. But at the same time, the opposite could be true and the entire project could be a failure, whether that is before or after the rocket takes off.

We can already assume that there are going to be children born up in Mars, at least as long as there is nothing that keeps it from happening. That first child is going to be a major part of history, although they may never even experience earth or know what it is (aside from through history being told to them). But regardless, it is not outside the realm of logical thought to guess that we are going to have a full, growing civilization living up there that will continue to grow and populate the planet. It may even be possible a long time from now for us to start traveling back and forth between the planets; how long it would take to make that an affordable trip is anyone's guess though. One thing is for certain with this: we know that there is still a lot of stuff we need to get taken care of before we get to that point.

Conclusion

I think the idea and concept of Mars One's project is an awesome one. While I still have doubts about how long it will take to get their project completed, and feel that it could take much longer than they are planning for, I love thinking about what could come as a result of it being successful. Even without the television show (which is going to be interesting in its very own way), the knowledge we are going to gain is above and beyond what any of us can probably imagine at this point. But until the project is completed and the rockets are successfully taken to Mars, all we can do is hope and dream!

Space


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