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One-way ticket to Mars

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 One-way ticket to Mars2004-01-17 16:41
picture by Flemming Funch

George Bush announced the intent to put humans on Mars. Which is primarily a good distractionary move now that an election is coming up, and he doesn't have to figure out how to pay for it. Aside from that it is a fine idea.

But with the kind of technology that is envisioned for the purpose it is very difficult. In part that is because the people who go there need to bring equipment and fuel for getting back again. And it takes a lot of fuel to take off from Mars. So, one alternative, but somewhat controversial idea would be that it initially would be a one-way ticket rather than a return ticket. Article here in NY Times (registration required). It is really not a problem finding volunteers. They need to bring enough equipment to survive and be able to start utilizing Martian resources. And every couple of years new supplies and volunteers can arrive. Until the colony becomes self-sufficient.

And (via Le Danois) somebody should maybe think a bit bigger and study this How-To for Terra-Forming. Mars is quite well suited for a large scale transformation into a green and lively planet. Which it might or might not have been in the past. Of course it would be sensible to thoroughly investigate what is already there, before re-formatting and re-booting the whole place.

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Other stories in
2009-11-01 16:35: Seven questions that keep physicists up at night
2008-10-14 20:33: Where are the podcars?
2008-07-05 00:08: Self-Organized Criticality
2008-05-16 13:34: The Universe as God
2008-01-11 19:00: Richard Dawkins comes to call
2007-12-02 21:10: An E8 theory of everything
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2007-07-05 23:40: What happened before the big bang
2007-06-27 00:58: Naïve realism
2007-05-26 02:26: Mars cave

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