Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Heard on the morning news: two scientists suggested Mars should be colonized by older astronauts...who would only be getting a one-way ticket to the red planet.
I can imagine what that recruitment speech might sound like: "We need a few good men to colonize Mars. We will not be sending any women, as the men we're looking for will be too old to have sex--if they even survive the trip. Populating the new world is not part of the plan at this stage. None of you will be coming back. Our senators have informed us that budget cuts to the space program were necessary, so we can send you to Mars, but we'd be a little short of funds to bring you home. Why do you think we're only asking for geezers? That reminds me. We'll need anyone who's selected to sign over any and all assets...."
When I mentioned the news item to William, he expressed doubt that there would be many volunteers for this particular mission. Fortunately, NASA vetoed the idea, so the older guys on the team can breathe easy.
I've always had a fascination with space. If I weren't a writer, I'd want to be going off into that new frontier. Note that I said NEW frontier. No offense to William Shatner, but space is not the final frontier. That comes after we die. Okay, okay...space could have been the final frontier for the space cowboys who would have ended up on the Mars Or Bust budget plan....
There could be certain advantages to being part of a very small colony on a distant planet. Think about it...no pollution...no crowds...no noise. No long lines at the Starbucks drive-thru. (You think there are no Starbucks on Mars? I'll give you odds.) No waiting for satellite installation. No telemarketers...no politicians..no televangelists...no terrorists...no morons (okay, that was redundant).
Wait a minute! Maybe I should rethink this. Mars just might be paradise..if we could really be alone there....