The big cost of traveling to Mars is in the coming back. Solution: Don't come back.
It's not a popular plan. Yet. But the basic idea—admitting that what we really want to do is colonize other worlds, and switching goals from exploration to permanent settlement—is starting to be openly discussed, says Popular Science. There's a paper on the subject in the Journal of Cosmology. And NASA and DARPA have started work on a project to build a "100 Year Starship". (Although, to be fair, they're not going to get very far on $1,100,000.)
Also interesting: One of the authors of the Cosmology paper says he'd go—but only after his kids were grown. Seems to me, if a colony of space Pilgrims was going to succeed in any meaningful way, it would need to include kids. Or, at least, couples and potential couples of child-bearing age. After all, you're going to become somewhat emotionally disconnected from Earth pretty quick out there. And who else are you building your Martian colony for?
What do you guys think? Would you go? Would you take your kids? Could you talk your spouse into it? Bearing in mind, we're talking real pioneering conditions here: "They would get periodic supply missions, but they would be expected to fend for themselves for water, shelter, nutrients and mineral/chemical processing. They would be expected to develop some kind of homegrown Martian industry."
If I'm being more honest, and less Walter Mitty, I'm not sure I could do it.
Popular Science: NASA, DARPA plan "Hundred Year Starship"
Image: Some rights reserved by Bluedharma
More than 800 American energy and Earth science researchers have signed a letter to Donald Trump outlining six steps they’re urging him to take to address human-caused climate change to protect “America’s economy, national security, and public health and safety.” The letter is accompanied by a public change.org petition to “Tell Trump To #ActOnClimate.” Here […]
James Delingpole is an invective-hurling anti-climate science columnist who has candidly admitted that he doesn’t bother to read scientific papers, calling himself a “an interpreter of interpretations.”
Kratom (previously) is a widely used herb that has been very effective in treating opioid withdrawal and other chronic, hard-to-treat conditions — it also became very controversial this year because the DEA decided, without evidence, to class it as a dangerous drug, and then changed its mind (unprecedented!) after a mass-scale petition that included interventions […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]