Mars One

Has anybody heard about this Mars One project? I only just found out about it (which surprises me because I’m really into that stuff), and I have one thing to say:

HOLY FUCKING SHIT!

For those of you who are in the dark, here’s what I’m talking about; an initiative has been set up for people, worldwide, to apply to be sent to Mars in 2022. I know that number sounds like it’s a ba-jillion years away, but it’s not. It’s nine years from now. Nine years. Nine frickin years. And they start training applicants next year. Next year. 2014. The year after this one. The first people to land on Mars may (or may not) start training for it within a matter of months. I repeat: HOLY FUCKING SHIT!

Here’s a video put out by the Mars One people, explaining a couple of things:

A lot of people think it’s a hoax, or scam set up to milk applicants of their hard-earned cash. That’s fair enough. It’s a big thing, and it kinda snuck up on the world. It’s not like Earth’s idiot masses were waiting for something like this to come along (mostly because they’re all distracted watching The Bachelor, or Jersey Shore, or wondering what Simon Cowell is up to these days).

Something this momentous and ground-breaking is sure to cause doubt and cynicism. The same thing happened with the moon landing. People doubted that would happen. In fact, some people still doubt it. There are millions (that’s right, millions) of people who think we never landed on the moon. And going even further back, people would likely have thought the idea to go out sailing in search of the new world to be something ridiculous. So, of course, there are people who think anything involving sending people to Mars is a big, fat stinking pile of stupid.

On the other hand, there are people who think it’s a genuine intention but it will never get off the ground (no pun intended) due to financial, technological, or ethical issues. Some doubt the likelihood of the project gathering the funds to make anything substantial take place. Some say we just flat-out don’t have the technology it takes to get living creatures (i.e. humans) there. Some say the idea of sending human beings to another planet (without the means of EVER returning) is unethical.

These are all valid thoughts, but you know what I think of the whole thing? Call me crazy (or gullible or stupid), but I think it’s fucking wonderful. Seriously.

The ethics shouldn’t be an issue. People who sign up, know what they’re getting themselves into. And even if they don’t, after years of training (if they’re selected), I’m sure they’ll have a rough idea of the personal costs. Sending someone to another planet, without the means to ever get back to Earth, is essentially a slow death sentence. I get it. But the same could be said of those who sailed around the world, colonising various corners of the globe.

The technology shouldn’t be an issue. We already have the tech to land non-living things on the face of Mars. We have a number of rovers up there, beepin and boopin and doing their rover thing. If a dedicated team works on improving that technology to support humans making the same trip, I’m sure that can managed in the next nine years. However, they’ll need money for that.

And that’s where the biggest concern comes into play. The majority of Mars One nay-sayers are talking about the funds. The moolah. The cash. “They’ll never get enough funding to make it happen.” Really? Never? There are a shitload of billionaires out there, whose money is just sitting there. Just sitting and earning more money. These people have so much money, even their money makes money. Surely, at least one of these people wants to have their name slapped on a project like this. Surely. How could they not?

I mean, Bill Gates is one wealthy son-of-a-bitch. And he doesn’t keep his money to himself. He has donated billions of dollars to research against certain diseases, and he’s generally considered to be a generous dude. Surely, someone like Bill would want to attach their name to this, and be forever remembered as the person who funded the colonisation of a new planet.

In a thousand years’ time, Mars residents will be talking about how they got there, and they’ll say “Well, the colony was started by a brave few, who came from Earth, way back in 2022. Nobody remembers who those colonists were, but the person who made it all possible was Bill Gates. What a guy!”

I dunno. Maybe it’ll happen, maybe it won’t.

I’m not really sure what my point is, but I’m just excited. I’m really fascinated with where we came from (meaning how we spread across this silly blue planet, and the societies we set up after the mass exodus from Africa), but I’m even more interested in where we’re going.

I want this to Mars thing to happen, and I’m going to be thinking about it for a long time to come. It may pop up in my posts from time to time.

This is a long post.

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