Mars Mission: Not Crazy

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A student from Victoria University in Wellington is still in the running to be amongst the first humans to set foot on Mars. 200,000 people applied to be part of the 2024 mission to the red planet, and now only 1058 remain in the selection process.
There is a catch: this is a one-way mission. None of the astronauts who leave for Mars will ever return to earth.
To many, this seems like madness. Leave your family, friends, home, home planet, all that you have ever known, to willingly travel on an eight-month space flight to Mars, and that you’ll spend the rest of your life, and die, there.
The point of this trip, planned and to be carried out by the Mars-One programme, is to establish a human colony. After the 2024 trip, four more people at a time will travel to Mars every two years.
Is it crazy?
It’s the latest example of something that humans are hardwired to do. (Hardwired means that it is in our brains and genetics to make us do something.) Ever since humans existed they have travelled further and discovered new things. We crossed mountains and oceans, been to the moon. And Mars is what’s next.
The great journeys of history are examples of this: Kupe travelled through Polynesia in the 10th Century and discovered Aotearoa New Zealand; Christopher Columbus left Spain in 1492 and ended up finding what we know know as America. The Vikings, Francis Drake, Marco Polo, Amy Johnson, Amelia Earhart and many, many others… all of whom took incredible risks in order to find out more about our world. They all set off without being certain they’d ever return.
There is no way that humans will be able to live on other planets without these daring pioneers. People, like those who’ve volunteered for the Mars-One mission, who are courageous enough to be prepared never to set foot on earth again, in order that we – the human race – can discover more about the universe.
Would you go?
Article written by Ben Egerton
[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:[/colored_box] 
[colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. Would you go?
2. Why should humans travel to, and set up a colony on, Mars?
[colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:
Imagine you are in charge of setting up a colony on Mars.
How would you do it? What would you need? What skills would you make sure the people who are coming have? What jobs would need doing? Who would you bring from earth first (remember, only four people at a time)? What would you bring from earth? What would you do about practical things like food, water, needing the bathroom, washing, treating injuries or illness? Entertainment? What else would you need to think about? How about ensuring that the colony could look after itself without people always coming from earth?
Design your own version of what the colony on Mars might look like.
Share your ideas with classmates or discuss them with another class.
[colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say:
[socialpoll id=”2206561″]

34 Responses

  1. i would never do anything like that. thats just simply stupid, i mean why would you leave all your family and friends just for a little adventure

  2. 1. Yes I would go
    2. This experiment is life-changing.
    When it comes to something new, everyone should try it! nothing is impossible. This procedure shall change the world someday and everyone needs to be positive about this. If your son, daughter, aunt, uncle, neighbor, whoever is going up there, be proud man. This, someday, is going to alter every economy in many positive ways. Although many people will be sad and miss them, it’s a good thing. A lot of people will mourn for their relatives or friends or anybody up there. People will be praying for their safety and security and, if you really want to go deep, sanity. Although this will affect many people, we should be proud. Our people are up there trying to expand the Earths economy and trying to start a new way to live and experience new challenges and ideas and whatever problems they face, god be with them, and may we hope for their salvation. The best is yet to come.

  3. I wouldn’t go to planet Mars because, I would be weaker but taller, and its only ONE-WAY So you will die there! 🙁
    Well, Good luck to the people who are going! 🙂

  4. piper
    June 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm
    i would never do anything like that. thats just simply stupid, i mean why would you leave all your family and friends just for a little adventure
    Just letting you know, its not a ‘little’ adventure. It takes 8 months to get there. And one day, you never know, we may just have to all live there because Earth would be destroyed by all the pollution that’s going on. Car companies are trying to make cars drive by sugar cane and water instead of petrol. This should save the world for a long time. And anyway, people are trying to make the world a better place too live in.

  5. NO WAY!!!

  6. personally I would not go because when I went to Disneyworld I got to go onto this crazy simulator thing about going to mars IT IS SOOOOOO SCARY so yeah I wouldn’t go. 🙁 🙂 😉 ;(

  7. Well We could see our family again if we brought internet and a computer because you could do skype

  8. are you mad what would you chose go for and 8 mounth trip to mars land and then wait and die or have a lovley life on earth

  9. I think we should not do it because here on planet earth, we have started global warming and all the other bad stuff. So i think even if colonize mars, I think the same thing will happen on mars , and we have to move to some other planet.

  10. 1 I would nevah go at all
    2 why would they? its just sad leaving your friends, family and everyone and thing because all you would have is the others and them and you will die so that is sad.

  11. that is really sad i wouldn’t like it if one of my brothers or dad went to mars to live, i would never see them again!!!!!! 🙁

  12. Why would you go on a mission that you will never return from. All you are doing is leaving your life behind you.

  13. This is madness. We were the ones who made this planet so unhealthy to live on.If people start leaving like this, then soon we will all be moving to a different planet, if we can find one. And what does that mean? it means that planet earth, OUR planet will carry on getting unhealthy with no one to look after it. It will be sick, with nothing to nurse it back to health. But there is one good thing. There will be nothing to destroy what is left. When people start coming back, if they do,they might realise how much the planet needs to be looked after. And that’s what we need, right?

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