Sunday, May 27, 2007

One-way trip to Mars

I had an idea a couple of years ago and neglected to blog about it and now I read that somebody else has proposed the same idea: one-way trips for human colonists to Mars. Writing in response to John Brockman's 2007 Edge question "What are you optimistic about?", physicist Paul Davies of Arizona State University and author of The Cosmic Jackpot, writes in his essay response entitled "A One-Way Ticket To Mars" about the significant logistical benefits of sending supplies and people to Mars withot the burden of returning them to Earth.

There are a zillion interesting issues that crop up, but I find the concept quite appealing and would consider it myself. It's an opportunity to be a true pioneer, a real colonist.

In truth, most of the early colonists and immigrants to America ame here knowing that going back was not an option.

It would be interesting to contemplate a Mars Colony simulator. It wouldn't be practical to directly simulate the lower gravity, but it should be quite practical to simulate the isolation, the atmosphere, the sights and views, the sounds, the terrain, the delayed communication with Earth.

As a starting point, do we have the necessary resolution to create a dome of hi-res display screens that would simulate the view from inside a dome on the surface of Mars as well as a "vehicle" (simulator) with displays for the windows viewing the landscape as the vehicle "moves". One issue is that current display technologies don't have the raw brightness to simulate the Sun. We do have the experience with Biosphere 2 for constructing a simulated environment to draw upon.

To be honest, merely being an astronaut isn't that exciting to me, but being a Mars Colonist is an entirely different matter.

-- Jack Krupansky

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