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