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.