Mission To Mars? Red planet trip carries big risks

Recently, 200,000 people have applied to live on Mars knowing full well the countless risks that come with this decision. Most sane people would do anything not to be forced into this circumstance, but surprisingly this huge number of applicants is eagerly pursuing the selection process to get a chance to go live on Mars.  Thousands are applying to be a part of Mars One’s mission, with one goal in mind: to find life and one day have life on Mars.

Mars One is a group that that plans to send humans on a one-way trip to Mars. They are a non-profit foundation with the goal of establishing permanent human settlement on Mars. To prepare for this settlement, the first unmanned mission is scheduled to depart in 2020. Crews will start departing in 2026. Additional crews will be sent after every certain amount of years.

As of now, there has been no proven life on Mars. Yet the thousands of people applying to live on Mars are jumping at this opportunity, and Mars One is taking extremely careful consideration in selecting the applicants that will be chosen.

In selecting the crew, there are a number of requirements that must be met to become a Mars One astronaut.  The combined skill set of each astronaut team member must cover a wide range of disciplines. These astronauts must be intelligent, creative, psychologically stable and physically healthy. They also must be resilient, adaptable, curious, trusting and trustworthy, creative/resourceful, above the age of 18 and have an A2 English level. The selection process consists of four rounds, with the group getting smaller each round.

This may seem the opportunity of a lifetime to a first time learner of this mind boggling experiment, but many people question, is it possible for humankind to find life on Mars? Well, there are countless risks that come with this idea.

There is a high risk of space travel. During the launch, people will be strapped on top of a massive rocket that might explode, and, even worse, during the flight there is always the possibility of being smashed into space debris. If the rocket for some reason veers off, it could be hurdled far off into deep space or even toward the sun. Actually landing on Mars would be the most dangerous event of all; landing is the top reason for missions failing. The risk of these applicants’ violent and/or terrifying death is extremely high.

There is also the risk of radiation poisoning; flying to Mars may take over a year to complete, and during that time participants will be faced with two main types of radiation: cosmic rays and energetic particles from the sun. Both types of radiation can damage DNA and greatly increase risk of cancer.

Another risk that should be thought about before accepting to take part in this journey is one that probably most people wouldn’t see as something to worry about, but extreme boredom is a real thing, and it will start to impact those on this mission eventually. They will live in a small pod, about the size of a jail cell. Over the years, the excitement of going outside will wear off and there will be nothing to do but sit inside the pod. This can start to really depress people, and once on Mars, there would be no way out.

The last big important risk is what if someone ends up being the last man standing? Over the decades, people in the colony will die, and there is no guarantee that more people will come and replace them. In time, there could potentially only be one person left on the entire planet. That could get a bit lonely.

Other risks may include ripped suit death, maintenence issues death, rover breakdown death, doctors dying, crippling nostalgia or depression. There are numerous risks that come with this mission. Is it worth it?

There are positives that come with this mission; everything is just at extremely high risk. Mars is seen as the stepping stone of the human race on its voyage into the universe. Human settlement on Mars would aid the understanding of the origins of the solar system, the origins of life and our place in the universe. There is hope that if the human mission to Mars is successful, that it will inspire future generations to know and believe that anything is possible and will eventually be achieved.

Even with this hope, the idea is still crazy. It is said that the estimated time of survival on Mars is 63 days, and there are countless risks involved with this mission. If people stay optimistic and determined, maybe the outcome will turn out better than expected.

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