Monday, November 22, 2010

Send 60-year-old astronauts to Mars on a one-way trip to save money, say scientists

Scientists believe the best way to colonise Mars would be to start by sending elderly astronauts on a one-way mission to the red planet.  Two scientists are suggesting that colonisation of the red planet would be faster and cheaper if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America - not expecting to go home.

The less said reason is because the mission would undoubtedly reduce a person's lifespan, from a lack of medical care and exposure to radiation.   Radiation could also damage reproductive organs, so sending people of childbearing age is not a good idea, Schulze-Makuch said.

Mars is a six-month flight away, and it has surface gravity, a thin atmosphere, frozen water, carbon dioxide and essential minerals. 

Despite the lack of enthusiasm from NASA, Schulze-Makuch believes many people would be willing to make the sacrifice.

This sounds like a suicide mission, even though they say it is not. You get to be a trail blazer in mars colonisation, but you can never come back, your lifespan is reduced and you have very limited supplies.  Wonder how the sign up sheet is going...

M


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