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Who is to go?
Permanent or even self-sustaining settlement?
When going to uninhabitable places, mankind always started with temporary visits: The first ascents to high mountains, Scott’s journey to Antarctica, Gagarin’s first space trip and the Apollo program to the moon may serve as examples.
It usually took some decades before permanent residences were installed in such places, with Hotels served by cableways on some mountain-tops today, a permanent research stations at the South pole, the International Space Station in low earth orbit.
Even these places are not self-sustaining. Research stations had been in Antarctica many years before starting to produce their energy on-site (from wind energy) instead of importing fuels. All food is still being imported to Antarctica stations. Children are not raised there, and a pregnant female researcher would probably be evacuated before giving birth.
Self-sustaining settlements could be started on fertile pacific island by a couple of persons arriving by boat, or by the first “Indian” settlers of America. A self-sustaining place on Mars would require thousands of inhabitants to set up activities such as steel and glass fabrication, which would be essential to produce places for living and agriculture. No one could finance such huge efforts momentarily.
Definitely, there is no benefit in bringing a few persons back from Mars to Earth, for expenses of billions of $, € or ¥. This is more clearly the case considering that we possibly would take home sick men/women, given the radiation en-route and the longtime no/low-gravity environment.
If anyone would like to save human (or, more general, primate) lives, this could be done with much better value for money on earth.
Conclusion for trip layout
Concluding, the first Mars-to-stay trip will involve a few persons going to the Mars for the rest of their lives; with little prospect of more visitors or supplies arriving beyond the initial and funded program. It would be wise not to expect amenities lasting for more than about three to ten years.
The trip will thus have some similarities with the Scott’s approach to the South Pole, but with communication back home and hopefully much less hardships than encountered by these brave men.
Some young and healthy researchers might be willing to sign up under such prospects, but it would be morally more acceptable only to send experienced persons with a life-expectancy that will be limited anyway. As the life-expectancies of “healthy” elderly people is difficult to assess in advance, and their ability to perform research tasks is gradually reduced before the natural end of their life, the best pick could be persons with a non-curable mortal disease, where the advance of the disease can be estimated with some accuracy. Some types of slow-growth cancer, with a lethal prognosis due to Metastases but still some years to go without too straining side-effects, could be a good “condition” for picking applicants. For some of these diseases, radiation may be part of the ordinary therapy anyway. A longer rest on Mars, exceeding more than three to five years, may be too boring anyway.
Technical skills will be a further requirement for candidates, even though the required competence will rather be to repair research and life-supporting equipment than to perform research studies, which rather be will be done on Earth with the transmitted results.
Leading Country ?
Russia and the USA have made great accomplishments in space, bringing the first men to space and to moon, respectively. These two countries thus have less to gain for their national pride from new encounters, and most to lose from a disaster. Both countries have a quite derelict industry and the USA would be better advised to fix potholes and insulate houses than heading for Mars. Germany has made its turn to renewables and notably bringing solar power to grid parity its equivalent for a moon landing, and Europe is burdened by debt and pension loads anyway.
It would be natural to expect the then largest, today most quickly growing industrial country to make the step to Mars, i.e. China.
Gay Route to Mars ?
Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin proposed to launch three married couples to Mars at ages around 35.
Couples divorce on Earth, and may even more likely split under the cramped living conditions aboard. With a group of three men and three women, there are very few alternatives to switch (sexual) partners, i.e. a total of 6 combinations of couples are available. The choice will be further reduced after some of the crew have died, as ultimately all are destined to on Mars. Anyway, it will be difficult to find couples that both qualify for the fitness conditions proposed above, or where both are willing to go (without one dragging the other).
If a couple would leave its children behind on Earth, that could involve various hardships, while giving birth on Mars should not at all be considered – the initial astronauts at least have a choice before leaving.
Sending “singles” is a more appropriate approach.
Then, it would be much more feasible to send a group of homosexual men, or only homosexual women, where everyone qualifies as a potential mating partner for everyone else. A mixed group of bisexuals would work as well. A six-person homosexual group results in 15 possible one-to-one combinations of couples, a seven-person crew would allow for 48 combinations couples (leaving one single). Furthermore, polyamory (non-monogamy) is considered to be a well-accepted part of homosexual life, whereby the possibilities to engage in sexual practice onboard without “leaving anyone behind” are further enhanced in this setting.
As any future permanent settlement of a remote planet or moon, with intentions to raise children, would best be started with a women-only team (bringing along frozen sperm for a wider genetic variety), it would not infringe too much with equal rights to make the third significant step to space (after Gagarin and Armstrong) with a men-only crew this time. For a Chinese encounter, gender equality aspects may be less of a matter anyway.
Funding and support advantages
A gay-only trip would have further advantages: China is facing a male surplus of many millions, if not hundred million males anyway. So the concept of “sending some men to far-off shores” will seem appropriate in contemporary Chinese culture during the next decades anyway. Attitudes towards homosexuals have already relaxed, as indicated by same-sex marriages in China. The male surplus will make more Chinese, who may have bisexual feelings but would have chosen a female mate under circumstances of oppression for homosexual activities, resort to live homosexual.
Homosexual only rarely have children. This will facilitate the acquisition of support from private sponsors – with childless persons having no natural successor to give an inheritance to. The same will apply to surplus heterosexual Chinese males that did not succeed to find a wife.
The male-surplus funding aspect is a further reason why China in few years time will be the ideal candidate to fund a trip to Mars.
Furthermore, the Chinese state, when unable to give many men a decent conventional perspective for their lives (e.g. having a family with a wife and one child), will be more inclined to give its people a “national” perspective to achieve glory and eternity. Male-surplus countries often have waged wars, so a vision for Mars could be an adequate substitute for China, such as the quest for moon took place during the Cold War.
On the other hand, homosexuals of all countries may perceive a gay trip to Mars as a sign of accomplishment and emancipation, which can further enhance their willingness to give privately.
mars to stay is a realistic project considering that apollo mission was carried out in 1960s with a fraction of the current technologies. I will be the first volunteer for the one-way mars journey if given a chance.
How to make advertising make money on such a thing?
One simple answer.
Reality television show with NASCAR like sponsorship and product placement sold to network television.
No offense, but what we really need is not a group of enthusiasts starting up a fund to drum up public support, but an industry giant(s) with the vision to see this done, under which venture capitalists and corporate sponsors with flock. I can think of three good examples:
(1) Elon Musk: founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors.
(2) Sir Richard Branson: founder of Virgin Galactic and all the other Virgin Group companies.
(3) Bill Gates: founder of Microsoft.
I forgot to add this but, once a single, even if just one man, makes it to Mars and the world, knows about, the space race will be on among the nations of the Earth to go there. just look what happened to the Americas, Africa and the rest of the world after Columbus.
The best way to solve this paradox is through these:
1- Create a Mars to stay! fund, gather donatons until achieving a set goal/deadline, then get it rolling.
2- The settlers need not necessarily be all volunteers, or just men, they can be a co-ed ( men and women to spawn life, babies, new settlers) a diverse mix of people or even convicts, people who are doomed to be jailed for the rest of their life, and are being given an opportunity to be free, under the full knowledge that they shall not return to Earth, fully knowing the conditions of the newly received freedom and duties, a second chance shall we say.
3- Why are we thinking small? 4 people, 6 people? why not 100 prisoners? why not our enemies captured in war? build a prison in Mars and send them there as guinea pigs to develop the place, just look how Australia got its start! and what a fine place that is now!
4- Forget the Government! get the private industry involved! remember history, it all started with Columbus, the the Idia companies followed, so we need the "Mars company" established with the backing of powerful private capital and funds, with the purpose of a one-way colonization goal of Mars, a private venture, of multi investors, who shall be promised exclusive deals upon the successful settlement of the colony/ mining/ land/etc nce its on its feet.
If one man can imagine, other men can get it done! - Theodore Roosevelt.
The problem with that is who is going to pay for advertising unless there is a financial return? It all comes down to $, it'll always be difficult to get any sort of investment for advertising or actual mission funding unless the investor thinks they'll get a decent return.
Could advertisement do the trick?
If the American people see ads regarding the importance of going to Mars to stay and be true pioneers etc., I am sure millions of people will start getting very much interested, etc.,
Why stop and Bush and Obama? One can easily make the case that Ronald Reagan was the father of the current national debt. The recent "crisis" was a manufactured one from the fringe of a political party that cares more about its party than it does the nation, our ratings were downgraded when it became obvious that there are leaders that actually are in favor of defaulting just to make someone else look bad.
We do indeed have a crisis in this county, but the crisis is that people are no longer patriots to a nation, but to a political party or movement.
Yes it is a matter of politicians, we have not had leadership from a politician or a political party in the forefront of space exploration since JFK
It is a matter of deciding to do it.
Getting people to do is easy, the technology we have now, we have the people, the materials, the technology, all we lack is the leadership to set the goal, we don’t even need to expand the Nasa budget to any great extent, we just need to set the goal, make it the priority.
The thing is it's not the politicians fault, they just do what people will vote for and as most people aren't interested in stuff like this, there will never be the political will. So it's really the voters fault this isn't getting done, if you get the average voter interested in space and voting for candidates who support it, then the politicians will follow. Unfortunately there are so many other major political battles at the moment given the whole of the West is drowning in debt/deficits and big government welfare states that space exploration is hardly likely to come to the front of the minds of voters or politicians any time soon.. 11 years of uncontrolled spending by both Bush and Obama have really screwed us in so many ways!!
Let's hope the private sector is successful over the next few years, if entrepreneurs and investors see that SpaceX and Virgin Galactic etc can turn a profit, there could hopfully be a massive boom in the space industry..
Finding someone, or a group of people willing to do it would be the easy part.
That person(s) would be the next Marco Polo, Columbus, Magellan, Armstrong
They would also be a lot like the Truman Show, the most watched and celebrated person(s) on this planet ( and the only people on the other )
The problem isn’t who, or even how, the problem is only the political will to decide to go
For further reading, visit the Wikipedia article on Mars To Stay.
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