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Sci - Tech
 

Here's what made 400 people volunteer for a one-way mission to Mars

Tuesday - Jan 11, 2011, 11:05pm (GMT+5.5)
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Washington -  Ever wondered what made some people volunteer for a one-way mission to Mars?

A special edition of the Journal of Cosmology has detailed exactly how a privately-funded, one-way mission to Mars has prompted more than 400 readers to volunteer as colonists.

"I've had a deep desire to explore the universe ever since I was a child and understood what a rocket was," Fox News quoted Peter Greaves as saying.

Greaves is the father of three, and a jack-of-all-trades who started his own motorcycle dispatch company and fixes computers and engines on the side.

"I envision life on Mars to be stunning, frightening, lonely, quite cramped and busy. Unlike Earth I wouldn't be able to sit by a stream or take in the view of nature's wonder, or hug a friend, or breath deeply the sweet smell of fresh air but my experience would be so different from all 6 to 7 billion human beings ... that in itself would make up for the things I left behind," he said.

Other volunteers include a 69-year old computer programmer, a college student at Texas A and M, and a 45-year-old nurse.

Reverend Paul Gregersen, pastor of the Clarno Zion United Methodist Church, also said he would be willing to travel off-planet-permanently.

"As the human race continues to expand, it only make sense to explore opportunities for human life out in the cosmos," said Gregersen.

"Also, I have the feeling that spiritual issues would come up among the crew. The early explorers on Earth always took clergy with them," he added.

However, psychologists have warned about the trip.

"It's going to be a very long period of isolation and confinement," said Albert Harrison, who has studied astronaut psychology since the 1970s as a professor of psychology at UC Davis.

He also warned that life on Mars wouldn't be as romantic as it sounded.

"After the excitement of blast-off, and after the initial landing on Mars, it will be very difficult to avoid depression. After all, one is breaking one's connections with family, friends, and all things familiar," he said.

"Each day will be pretty much like the rest. The environment, once the novelty wears off, is likely to be deadly boring. Despite being well prepared and fully equipped there are certain to be unanticipated problems that cannot be remedied. One by one the crew will get old, sick, and die-off," he said.

 





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