PULLMAN, Wash. – It's usually cheaper to fly one way, even to Mars.
Two scientists are suggesting that colonization of the red planet could happen faster and more economically if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America — not expecting to go home.
"The main point is to get Mars exploration moving," said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University professor who co-authored an article that seriously proposes what sounds like a preposterous idea.
At least one moon-walking astronaut was not impressed.
"This is premature," Ed Mitchell of Apollo 14 wrote in an e-mail. "We aren't ready for this yet."
They have a point - a slightly misguided point, but still a valid one. As long ago as the 60's, they knew what would be required to travel that kind of distance. We have accomplished a few of those things, but hardly enough of them to make practical travel there feasible. That doesn't mean we should just start marooning people on Mars - it would be like engineering your own Lord of the Flies.
The original plan for extended space travel and what it would need is kind of fascinating, though. It was written in 1960:
Answer by NotPanicking at 8:55 PM on Nov. 15, 2010
Answer by Steph319 at 9:09 PM on Nov. 15, 2010
Answer by yourspecialkid at 9:10 PM on Nov. 15, 2010
Answer by Carpy at 9:38 PM on Nov. 15, 2010
Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 10:02 PM on Nov. 15, 2010
I want to be the first to offer to buy you a one-way ticket, if you want to go.
Answer by Natesmom507 at 10:45 PM on Nov. 15, 2010