Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The One-Way Manned Mission to Mars

This is intriguing but potentially self defeating.

However, one former NASA engineer believes a human mission to Mars is quite doable, and such an event would unify the world as never before. But Jim McLane’s proposal includes a couple of major caveats: the trip to Mars should be one-way, and have a crew of only one person.

In McLane's opinion, such a mission would be more easily accomplished because of the reduced amount of supplies needed and the elimination of the biggest challenge-returning to Earth. He also believes that there would be plenty of pioneering, tough individuals who would be able and willing to enjoin such a mission. I agree with him on that, but there is always the risk of that individual cracking after months or years without any direct human contact. Man has lost people on space missions, but we have never lost a human to space. I can see the worst case scenario being so traumatic that it actually sets manned missions to Mars back by decades.

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