Yep, the Mars One plan is totally bonkers. The are many ways it could fail to get off the ground, and even if it does land people on the red planet, there are a million catastrophes possible waiting for them. AND YET… It also makes my nomad heart pound with excitement. It’s audacious, imaginative, hopeful… the kind of crazy that just might possibly work, and if it does it will be remembered as brilliance. And, in my heart I think that even if it does ‘fail’, its significance as the first attempt at making a home on a new world will make the effort and the lessons, and even the losses, absolutely worthwhile.

Possibly the maddest part of the whole scheme is the highly counter-intuitive idea of choosing astronauts out of the general public and training them later. But perhaps it makes good sense: at least as important as any other factor in the success of the mission is the psychology and interactions of the crew. So even more than scientists or pilots, they need optimists and good communicators. That’s where… go ahead and call me crazy (a special kind of stable craziness is required, after all)… I think I have a solid chance at this! Most of us gave up on ‘astronaut’ as a career sometime in elementary school… but maybe, just maybe, it’s still possible!

Ideas need preparation, and twenty years ago my mind became well-prepared for this one when I read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, a “hard” sci-fi take on colonizing the red planet: phenomenally well-researched, delving into Mars’ geology, the psychology of the colonists, the social and economic developments possible with a fresh start on a new world, the technical challenges, and the wild possibilities. The reality could be much darker, but I don’t care, the possibilities boggle the mind, and vastly outweigh the risks. If I were given a chance to be a part of it I’d take it in a second. Yes yes yes yes yes!!!!! Of course yes! Talk about going nomadic!!!

So I put in an application. Check it out, and be sure to rate me with lots of stars!!

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