Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Man Up: One-Way Mission to Mars

Jim McLane, a former NASA engineer, wants to see a manned craft sent to the Red Planet. His proposal: find someone to go alone and with no expectation of return.
“When we eliminate the need to launch off Mars, we remove the mission’s most daunting obstacle,” said McLane. And because of a small crew size, the spacecraft could be smaller and the need for consumables and supplies would be decreased, making the mission cheaper and less complicated.

While some might classify this as a suicide mission, McLane feels the concept is completely logical ... "People do dangerous things all the time, and this would be something really unique, to go to Mars. I don’t think there would be any shortage of people willing to volunteer for the mission."
And who might such people be?
According to psychologist Molly Dooley from Springfield, Ill., ... “Usually it’s the disenfranchised that are willing to take those kinds of risks,” she said. “When our present situation no longer works for us, we become more willing to take risks. The difference between the folks who are interested and those who aren’t is their attachment to their current situation.”
NASA is waiting for you.

1 comment:

Anne said...

For an alternative view of who might sign up for such a mission, remember that book club favorite, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. For a more hopeful view of our future on Mars, check out Kim Stanley Robinson's Hugo and Nebula award-winning Mars series. Go to for a nice introduction to the world of Mars fiction - of course you can find the titles at your library!