General Question

GeorgeGee's avatar

Would you like to join a one-way flight to Mars?

Asked by GeorgeGee (4930points) October 25th, 2010

NASA is planning a one-way trip to Mars. It will take 100 years to get there. So the idea would be that you live on the ship, have kids on the ship, die on the ship, and your kids and grandkids form a permanent settlement when they get here. Would you volunteer for this? What kind of people do you think would?,2845,2371219,00.asp?kc=ETRSS02129TX1K0000532&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ziffdavis%2Fextremetech+%28Extremetech%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

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24 Answers

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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’d never do this because I have no way to ask consent of my children and grandchildren. Who am I to assume they’d want this kind of life?

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Austinlad's avatar

I’m in! As long as there’s a well-stocked Mars Bar aboard.

mammal's avatar

no, but there are a lot of people i’d like to volunteer if at all possible.

jonsblond's avatar

No way. I’m claustrophobic.

GeorgeGee's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir good point but I’m convinced kids will hate us no matter WHAT we do.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@GeorgeGee Well I’m not so convinced. Besides, there’s a difference between hating one’s parents for making up a curfew and being taken to live on another planet.

JustmeAman's avatar

The children born on a ship would not know anything different so they would not have something to complain about there would be nothing to compare too. Would I go no there is so much to complete here.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

No,but I would gladly buy a ticket for my mother in law!

CMaz's avatar

Where do I sign up?

stratman37's avatar

How about we just take better care of ourselves HERE first!

Master's avatar

But… I don’t think it takes 100 years to get there.

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kevbo's avatar

Since this is the general section, let me start by pointing out that your assumptions are a little off. It wouldn’t take 100 years to get to Mars unless we did it the hard way on purpose. Further, as this engineer and author (who is also referenced in the linked Journal of Cosmology article) explained 15 years ago, getting to and living on Mars is much easier than many of us might think and doesn’t require anything more than technology that’s already developed (as of 15 years ago). Thirdly, as our own @mattbrowne has elaborated quite stylishly, generational starships will probably be disfavored over cryogenically stored embryos brought to life via artificial incubators or some other technology-based solution.

The only other thing I’ll add is my personal belief that all this crap is smokescreen. If you read the last two paragraphs of the Kurzweil blog referenced in your article, they talk about “airships” and “tesla in the air.” Once upon a time, those were called blimps. Tesla’s technology is more or less 100 years old. We went to the moon with the computing power of a pocket calculator and haven’t been back in 40 years. My point is that there’s likely some group already doing all of this stuff in secret, and this article and others like it are more about stringing the rest of us along.

It takes about 18 months to get to Mars using a hypothetical “standard” rocket ship and taking advantage of orbital windows. Would I go on a one-way trip? Doubtful. I imagine the type of person to go would be the same type that would go to Alaska or the Florida Keys or somewhere else out of the way of civilization, but I’m sure those folks wouldn’t meet the criteria that a selection committee would devise for such a mission.

Given a generational starship is likely doing it the hard way, I wouldn’t do that either, and it seems like folly unless that was the experience someone wanted akin to living on a boat.

Winters's avatar

I’d do it as long as I was on the 18 month plan (or possibly less now) rather than the 100 year one.

GeorgeGee's avatar

It’s described as a hundred year starship; it’s unclear if that was meant literally, but yes it’s certainly possible to get there faster. Perhaps it’s meant to be inhabited for 100 years after arriving?

wundayatta's avatar

Hell no. I’d wait for a few years to go by. There would, no doubt, be faster and more luxurious forms of travel by that time.

No alpha testing for me.

YARNLADY's avatar

Why on Earth would it take 100 years to reach a planet that is only a little over 100 days away?

GeorgeGee's avatar

Well, presumably they want to bring lots of building supplies along, loading up at Home Depot. So with all that weight the decided not to bring any fuel. Instead they want to try out electric microwave propulsion, possibly powered from the earth or solar sails…. That might be a little slower… “Scotty, put another potato in the microwave and point toward toward the aft thrusters!”

Nullo's avatar

I wouldn’t mind a trip to Mars, but a generation ship? It takes barely three months using chemical rockets to get there. NASA is really dropping the ball.

Me, I’d launch the gear book rate, and send the astronauts (Aressnauts?) on old-school rockets in time to intercept the first ship.

flutherother's avatar

I would take the family in a tiny caravan on a short break to some desert area on Earth. That would give us some faint idea of just how awful the experience would be.

filmfann's avatar

100 years? What, are we taking the bus? 3 months should do it.
In any case, I’m in.

mattbrowne's avatar

No, but if think thousands of people would volunteer.

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