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Are These People Crazy?

May 01, 13 Are These People Crazy?

Recently, the Mars One project began accepting applications from Earthlings that are interested in being the first humans to set foot on Mars. The proposed trip would send four individuals to Mars in 2023. The catch? They never get to come back to Earth.

Let that marinate in your brain for a little bit. The design of this mission is to maroon a group of people on the surface of Mars to live out the rest of their natural lives.

The reason for the one-way trip is that a significant portion of the cost of a manned mission to the Red Planet is bringing the astronauts back to Earth. Under this scenario, however, those costs are eliminated, and make the overall trip actually cheaper (believe it or not) and provide for a longer period of time during which to explore the surface.

There are all kinds of things to consider about such a trip — and I promise to discuss these in future posts — but the one that strikes me immediately is the psychology of such an endeavor. Living in very tight quarters, not being able to go outside without a space suite, only ever seeing the same three people ever again.

In fact, it makes me wonder about the type of person that would willingly sign up for such a mission. Well, it turns out that I don’t have to wonder. The Mars One project has made available the 20,000+ application videos that they have so far received.

Some of them are simply awesome, while others are, well, kind of what you would expect from someone willing to undertake such a mission. I very much encourage you to spend some time sorting through the videos.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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About 

John P. Millis, Ph.D., is professor of physics and astronomy at Anderson University, in Anderson Indiana. He teaches a wide variety of courses while maintaining an active research program in high energy astrophysics.

His research focus is on pulsars, pulsar wind nebulae, and supernova remnants. Using the VERITAS gamma-ray observatory in southern Arizona, he studies the very high energy radiation from these dynamic sources to extract information about their formation and emission mechanisms. Dr. John received his B.S. in physics at Purdue University and remained there for the completion of his Ph.D., where he focused on High Energy Astrophysics. When not teaching or writing about physics and space, Dr. John enjoys spending time with his family, tickling the keys on his piano and playing a wide variety of sports.

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