Science Fiction-Science Fact – Mars, A One Way Trip?

image courtesy The Telegraph UK

This month’s issue of The Journal of Cosmology is dedicated to essays from prominent scientists with the unified theme of Mars Exploration.  Many of the articles are the stuff of science facts, figures, extrapolation and, considering this IS the Journal of Cosmology, that makes sense.

What is causing some quiet talk around the Hadron Collider is a small essay by Dirk Schultze-Makunch and Paul Davis. In their article, they seriously propose a one way trip to Mars with the end product being colonization. To relate this to SF, we need look no further back than Stranger in a Strange Land, in which Robert Heinlein strands a first Martian Expedition, and has the sole survivor retrieved by a second one. The accidental stranding of Valentine Michael Smith is far removed from what these two eminent scientists are proposing. The “Swiftian” proposal is not considered a suicide mission, but to put it in their terms, a one way journey of exploration. They further contend that:

  • Technology currently exists to begin colonization.
  • Natural resources are abundant, but difficult to procure, for survival.
  • Humanity MUST hedge against catastrophe on Earth.

What we don’t see is:

  • A willingness to strand explorers on an alien planet.
  • The monetary resources to attempt anything of this nature.
  • A coherent NASA Strategy for the future.

You can find more information of a general nature here or the full text of the article here at The Journal of Cosmology Website.

This is Dome, sayin’: Call the Water Brothers. This may be important, but never hurry.

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