The Other I

January 10, 2013

You can never go home

Filed under: Just Stuff,Survival Strategies — theotheri @ 5:19 pm

I’ve just learned that Mars One, a not-for-profit organization in the Netherlands, is looking for applicants who are interested in taking a one-way voyage to Mars.  The hope is to interview them, and send them on their way amid great on-going media fanfare, a spectacle they think would pay for the cost of colonizing Mars.

Mars One is looking for four intelligent, resilient, adaptable, able to trust as well as communicate effectively, creative, and playful candidates.  They also must be at least 18 years old in 2013, so that all four immigrants would be at least 28 years old  when they leave their earthly home forever.

Whew!  Going to Mars with no expectation of ever being able to return makes Siberian exile look like winning the lottery.  Besides that, current plans are that new immigrants will arrive only once every two years.  So it could be a very lonely time for a very long time.
Unless other countries also join the colonizing masses, which I think they almost certainly would.

I wonder how much of the best and the worst of our human behaviors we would take with us.  Would we export what seems to be a universal tendency to treat newcomers as unwelcome foreigners?  Would the right to hold guns for self-protection against invaders still  be a constitutional right for Americans?   What about religious differences?

I can’t say I wish I were young enough to be going.  Assuming, of course, that I were “intelligent, resilient, adaptable, creative, and playful” enough in the first place.



  1. what about procreation – how would that work – and repercussions on gene pooling. what about medical needs and would there be prisons what about depression – food consumption disposing of waste products, government can you tweet from mars? would native americans be available to show them the ropes and welcome them? do ereaders work on mars or skype? hmmm would be a great alternative to capital punishment wasn’t australia first “civilized” in this way. more security than alcatraz they may be lacking in one of the requirements: playfulness, but maybe not. in the interim, i am going for a walk in prospect park and look over my shoulder for muggers.


    Comment by kateritek — January 10, 2013 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

    • My thoughts exactly. Except the part about taking a walk in Prospect Park. Not sure it would be possible for quite a while to take a walk around Mars at all without an oxygen mask. Still, if we can completely change the climate on Earth, maybe we could grow oxygen on Mars. The sleep cycle also looks like it could be a major problem on the trip out. Not sure melatonin can solve it.


      Comment by Terry Sissons — January 10, 2013 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

  2. Horrendous idea – screams my risk-averse self… why on earth… I mean on Mars would we want to go to Mars?
    I just have visions of a re-make of “Lord of the flies”.
    Someone is bound to do it. They probably already have. Yep. “Total Recall:, I think.
    I think we should focus on long term survival here rather than moving to Mars.


    Comment by sanstorm — January 10, 2013 @ 10:49 pm | Reply

    • I’m not sure one needs even to be risk-averse to find the idea as terrifying as you and I do. Just young enough not to realize what a gigantic leap they are taking and the scope of the challenges they face. Do you think that when Magellan took off to circle the unknown world it was similar? No, come to think of it: maybe he died en route, but at least some of his crew returned home. But I agree – someone is bound to do it. Or at least try.

      It concerns me, too, that people might think that since we’re trashing this planet we can just move to another one.

      On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 10:49 PM, The Other I


      Comment by Terry Sissons — January 11, 2013 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

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