100 Year Starship

Basically, NASA is looking at sending people to MARS. And that's it: just sending, no bringing them back.

This is something that has been discussed in space circles for quite some time now. The reason? It is a lot easier to send something from Earth into the gravity well of Mars, and leave it there, rather than trying to get it back again. Even without an atmosphere, lifting off from Mars is still much more difficult than getting off of the surface of something like the Moon.

And so the discussion at NASA (and DARPA for some reason is also funding this) focuses on a 100year spaceship: you get sent to Mars. And then you live there. Until you die.

And the basic public reaction to this is oh my god they are going to send them there to die! Well, sorta. You are giving people the opportunity to be the first humans to live (yes, live) on another planet. If you also end up being the first humans to die on another planet, let us hoe they would have a long and productive life. These people could be some of the most famous and important in the history of humanity: and yet the general reaction is that it would inhumane to let them go.

Basically, and it should be obvious at this point, I think this mission should be given the green light. Hell, it should be given a lot of resources: we are talking about the first colonization of another planet by human beings, a damn important goal. We first flew into space over 50 years ago. In 50 years, planes went from skipping over dunes, to jet-engined marvels which could break the sound barrier. In 50 years, we have gone from needle-shaped rockets which can launch 1 man into space to... well.. yeah... in a few months, we wont be able to launch one man into space. Which is pretty sad really. Mars, to me, is the obvious next goal (for manned flight) and the obvious way to get there is a one way trip.

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