Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

August 11, 2013

Life and death on the Red Planet

-- — Although technology has advanced at an amazing speed, man has yet to land on another planet. Unmanned rovers have long explored the outer reaches of space, with the Mars Rover collecting incredible data on the red planet.

Earth’s fascination with Mars began in science fiction novels and movies. Martians were often depicted as little green men, generally coming to Earth to enslave its inhabitants and destroy mankind.

The rovers haven’t found any sign of life on Mars yet. No Martians have landed on Earth, at least not that we know of. But now there’s a chance that Earthlings may themselves soon become Martians.

According to an article on CNN, more than 100,000 people have signed up for the chance to die on Mars. Technology is advanced enough to get them there, hopefully, but with little to no chance to bring them back.

A number of entrepreneurs are selling the opportunity to be among the first to colonize Mars, perhaps as soon as 2022. The Mars One project plans to be the first, but others are also in the design stages. And of course, the entire journey and colonization will be broadcast live to a worldwide audience.

Although naysayers claim the journey is impossible for a human to survive, let alone the harsh conditions on the planet, the number of people willing to pay for the chance to die trying is a little surprising. But given the long fascination with space and the fact that those 45 and younger have never known a world where space exploration and landing on the moon were thought to be impossible, perhaps living on Mars isn’t so unbelievable after all.

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