Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Failure of Mars One

I missed out on Pi Day and St. Patrick's Day on the blog, but it warmed my hear to see so many other blogs observing some math nerdiness! The truth is that I am still a little busy at the moment, so I couldn't really give Pi Day its proper due. And St. Patrick's Day? Living in neither the US nor Ireland, I can assure you that the only place that was a "thing" was in Stockholm's Irish pubs.But I'm taking half a minute out of my life to talk a bit about Mars One.

This is a project that has been getting a lot of hype, and it's not hard to see why: most sane people are concerned about the potentially irreversible changes we're triggering in our planet (or they at least agree that it will eventually be a problem for someone to deal with). If we've unequivocally ruined Earth, expanding out into other space and other planets is our only hope for long-term survival. Even if we manage to salvage Earth's climate so that it remains more or less hospitable for humanity, there's nothing we can do about the Sun's inevitable life cycle—either way, space travel is part of our future, if humans are going to play the really long game. Space colonization and extraterrestrial life is the premise of so much science fiction, from the classic (Star Trek) to the obscure (Henry Martinson's Aniaria), that the appeal is no surprise.

It seems like the Mars One project has taken that appeal and turned it into a poorly-organized cash grab. This article has a great run-down on it. That's really all you need to read on the topic.

I really hope that I can live to see a successful mission to Mars. I think it's entirely possible, but maybe it isn't.

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