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The possibility - or as real-life Tony Stark Elon Musk argues, the imperative - of colonizing Mars has been in the news lately. The not-for-profit organization Mars One is calling for volunteers to travel to Mars to be the first permanent settlers there, a project that will be financed by ad sales from documenting the mission as a reality TV show. Here are some answers to help understand this issue of science-fiction made fact.
What would qualify someone to join the Mars mission?
You would likely need to be a world-class expert in science, engineering, and/or medicine, but also be willing to immediately and forever abandon that career. You would need to possess excellent health and extremely good social skills, but also not be married or have any children.
Is it cool to just throw garbage anywhere I want once I get to Mars?
You probably just eliminated yourself from the pool of colonization candidates with that question.
I understand the first Mars mission will be broadcast as a reality TV show. What happens if it gets canceled?
The rocket explodes.
Isn’t Mars freezing, arid, and barren of everything that would make it hospitable to human life?
No, that’s your mom. Snap! But seriously, yes, Mars is a hellscape.
So why should we move there if it’s so awful?
It’s awful now, but if you get to Mars before it gentrifies, you can make a killing flipping condos down the line.
So what gives Mars its red color? Iron oxide dust or some shit?
Actually, it is iron oxide dust that gives Mars—oh. Yes. That.
This will be the first time in human history where one group of humans colonizes something without murdering thousands or millions of other humans, right?
It will likely be only a few years following colonization before a war of some sort breaks out on Mars.
You know that thing that happens to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face when he gets shot out onto the surface of Mars in “Total Recall” How many people is that going to happen to?
At least a few, probably.
If I go to Mars, will I enjoy it?
No. We are literally thousands of years from Mars being an enjoyable place to be. Unless of course you enjoy being bored out of your mind in cramped rooms, living a life where the smallest mistake will kill you and where you carry the constant burden of being the human embodiment of the dreams of a civilization literally millions of miles away. If that’s your thing, then yeah, it’ll be a fucking riot.
So…are we sure we should go to Mars?
According to the little voices embedded in our very souls that yearn for humanity to survive forever, apparently yes.