Archive for April 29th, 2013

One-Way Trip

One of the questions running through my head as I world build a generation ship is whether or not people would sign up for the voyage. How many people would be willing to uproot themselves from everything that they knew and love, from the earth itself, knowing full well that they would never return?

It’s fantastic when real life gives you answers to questions like these.

The Mars One project announced last week they would accept applications and auditions to be one of four people sent to Mars to build a permanent settlement on the fourth planet. The chosen few will go on a one-way trip to the planet, setting up the colony with no intent of returning to earth. They’ll have some touch with the folks back home, but for all intents and purposes they’re off to Mars to eventually die there.

So who would want to do this?

According to io9, in the first three days they received 20,000 applications, and that number may now be above 40,000. It’s unclear how many of these applications are serious about their willingness to go, but there is an application fee meant to help fund the project and weed out fake applications. The organization behind the project hopes for over half a million applications by the time they’re done. It’s stunning. And it’s nice to see a real answer to the question: how many people are willing to leave everything behind if it means being part of a grand human adventure?

Thanks, real life. I’ll make sure to credit you in the acknowledgements.

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