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One-way ticket to Mars

  1. Yes

    28 vote(s)
  2. No

    49 vote(s)
  3. Maybe

    17 vote(s)
  1. Oct 20, 2010 #1


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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2010 #2
    provided my spouse was also willing, I think it would be grand.
  4. Oct 20, 2010 #3
    Ha, I nearly choked on my doughnut when I read that! :rofl:

    Bit of a given really.

    On the subject, can't say I would. The thought of not seeing anyone again and basically losing all freedom wouldn't bode well for me. If I knew I'd be coming back (defying the point of one way) I'd be interested, but not coming back would be the equivalant of being in prison for the rest of your life.
  5. Oct 20, 2010 #4

    D H

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    That silly idea again? This has been floated many times over since 1962. Some of them:

    John M. Cord & Leonard M. Seale (1962), “The One-Way Manned Space Mission,” Aerospace Engineering 94:102, pp 60-61

    George W. Herbert (1996), “One-Way to Mars,” AAS-96-322, proceedings of the sixth Case for Mars Conference, American Astronomical Society, pp 235-244

    James C. McLane III (2006), “‘Spirit of the Lone Eagle’: an audacious program for a manned Mars landing”, The Space Review, http://www.thespacereview.com/article/669/1

    Lawrence M. Krauss (2009), “A One-Way Ticket to Mars,” The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/opinion/01krauss.html?_r=1

    The kind of people who would volunteer for a one-way trip to Mars with only a handful or so people sent to Mars are exactly the kind of people who should not be sent on such a trip. It is a suicide mission. Group dynamics and ensuring a critical skill base means the minimum number of people needed for a one-way trip to Mars is on the order of a hundred or so. But now we aren't talking about doing things on the cheap anymore.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  6. Oct 20, 2010 #5
    No way. I stay here. Maybe if Mars comes to me I'll consider it again..
  7. Oct 20, 2010 #6
    What so you're saying only cowards can go to mars?

    Since when did we fall into this mentality that exploration must incur zero risk? You wouldn't exist if the early European explorers hadn't the gall to go out and explore the world - even if they were motivated by greed.

    If human kind is ever going to take the next step forward it has to come at some risk or it will never happen. I for one would do it, and most people would probably say they would but in the end back out.
  8. Oct 20, 2010 #7
  9. Oct 20, 2010 #8


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    He's saying there's a broad gulf between heroism and suicide.


    You can't jump across a canyon in two leaps.

    If you were given a bunch of scuba tanks and dropped down the Marianas Trench to start a farm, would you call it "a risk by a courageous person" or would you call it suicide?
  10. Oct 20, 2010 #9
    It's suicide based on the assumption that its certain to fail.

    I'm sorry, but why does the assumption that its possible to succeed make you foolish and naive, but the assumption that its impossible somehow makes you rational?

    People probably thought the Apollo missions would fail and were impossible when they were proposed, but we ended up placing 12 American men on the moon.

    Also I may add that it's very easy for those who are already old enough that a mission to mars will not happen in their lifetime to say "we should wait". Those who are young enough to one day live to see such a thing come to fruition are a little bit more motivated the the old guys.
  11. Oct 20, 2010 #10
    Do you not understand the concept of "one way"?

    They may achieve something, they may not. But it is fact that people don't do well in small groups in isolation. We turn on each other, with potentially horific consequences.

    All issues you have to overcome.

    A manned mission there and back is just an upscaled, more complicated moon mission, to put people there permanently is a different issue. You have to supply them with everything they need to survive (that's a lot even for only a few months).
  12. Oct 20, 2010 #11

    D H

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    Did I say anything even close to that? The answer is no.

    Once again, did I say anything even close to that? The answer once again is no. So do stop putting words in my mouth.

    There is a huge difference between sending people on a suicide mission versus sending people on a mission that entails a good amount of risk but also entails a reasonable chance that they will live to a reasonably ripe old age. Sending a small number of people to Mars is a suicide mission. Someone will go insane and wreak a lot of damage, particular so since the kind of people who would volunteer for a suicide mission are exactly the kind who have a much higher chance of going insane. This is exactly why Navy now has rather strict mental stability tests for crew assigned to submarines. Incidents have happened in the past, some of them rather serious.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that that does not come to pass. Unless the Mars contingent has a sufficient skill base, people will still die prematurely because of broken bones, ectopic pregnancies, failing life support equipment, dying plants in the hydroponics garden, etc. There are lots of things that can go wrong on a lifelong mission with no return home. Even if nothing goes wrong as far as health and safety are concerned, suppose the communications system dies some day. Now what's the point of the mission? We sent a bunch of people on a suicide science mission and now the return on investment has suddenly and permanently dropped to zero unless someone there knows how to fix that equipment. The number of people that need to be sent to Mars on a permanent or indefinite basis is a lot more than the number needed for a short duration mission with a return to Earth at the end.
  13. Oct 20, 2010 #12
    I was watching something once which was talking about generation space ships (breeding on board them and avoiding inbreeding), and I think it applies equally here. They were discussing the minimum number of people required to ensure inbreeding doesn't occur. I believe the number they discussed was 200 couples in order to maintain a non-inbred population over X amount of years (I can't remember the duration but it was a good few generations worth, in the case of Mars you'd hopefully be introducing more people every now and then to help with this). And that is simply to avoid genetic problems. When you factor in all the skill sets required, it goes up for each system introduced.
  14. Oct 20, 2010 #13
    If I go, will the court reduce my speeding ticket?
  15. Oct 20, 2010 #14
    I'd say that given the nature of the trip, extradition to prosecute for failure to pay isn't very likely.
  16. Oct 20, 2010 #15


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    Just pay the ticket! Are you going to take your dollars to Mars?
  17. Oct 20, 2010 #16
    I was going to Arby's. But I guess another night of rice will have to do.

    Just what is a person supposed to get out of a one-way to Mars, anyway? Not exactly the kind of view that ups the value of real estate.
  18. Oct 20, 2010 #17


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    You'll get high doses of radiation, unless the Sun stays incredibly quiet during the whole trip. Once outside of the Earth's magnetic field, Solar tantrums get really serious.
  19. Oct 20, 2010 #18
    will this invalidate my life insurance?
  20. Oct 21, 2010 #19
    This could be an interesting experiment in social-power. How much would the people living on Mars have to beg to get Earth to come pick them up, despite the expense?
  21. Oct 21, 2010 #20
    The volunteers for a suicide mission don't necessarily need to be insane. There are plenty of people near the end of their lives who wouldn't mind dying on Mars instead of Earth.
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