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National Editorials & Columns

Dutch plans to colonize Mars has all the Wrong Stuff

A crazy Dutch organization is currently accepting applications for rocketing Earth inhabitants to the red surface of planet Mars. The group, Mars One, hopes to create a quasi human settlement on the fourth planet by 2023. The online application process is underway for those among us who seek to become Mars astronauts — without all of that messy education and rigorous training nonsense.

There is just one catch.

You won’t be coming back.

Since I don’t feel like dying on some godforsaken planet, I don’t intend on applying for the one way ticket to a slow and misfortunate death. Too bad I can’t nominate a few people I know. But I bet the grim prospect of being one of the first dwellers on Mars appeals to some people. That’s fine because I don’t mind thinning the herd.

There is a pretty stringent, four-step application process to become a Mars astronaut. Applicants must be 18 years or older (so kids ask your parents’ permission before calling), possess the knowledge to upload a video of yourself online and have a “can-do attitude,” as the brochure states. Other qualifications include being able to survive without water and the ability to hold your breath for extreme periods of times.

What sort of clientele does this leave? The bottom of the gene pool if you ask me. Clearly only a person who has nothing going for them on this planet would consider making something of their life on a foreign planet devoid of any noteworthy resources. It’s nothing but extended intergalactic suicide, and the revolution is going to be televised!

That’s the best part. Mars One will be receiving a large chunk of funding through filming and subsequently airing the training process, which will pit competitors against one another to secure a ticket on board the space ship. So it’s essentially going to be “Survivor” where the winners get ostracized from Earth and sent into space where they all experience the throes of starvation before succumbing to slow and excruciatingly painful deaths.

For those chosen for inclusion in the program the training and mission is considered a full-time, paid job. That doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not like they can spend it at Walmarts or Burger Kings on Mars.

Did I mention these space travelers will not — repeat not — be making a return trip to terra firma? And that’s the best case scenario; the worst being death.

So I can’t imagine this cosmic journey entices too many people. Except at last count more than 78,000 morons the world over have applied to be a part of the Mars program. This long, drawn-out social experiment is more like a fancier version of the Heaven’s Gate cult, and I don’t remember things working out so well for those people, do you?

I mean, I can’t reiterate this point enough: You’re not coming back. Ever. If you go to Mars you will die. Life on Mars is so harsh that it kills NASA robots. So what hope does anyone have? You might as well be living on the sun.

Even if a person wanted to come back they couldn’t. Due to the fragile nature of the human skeletal structure and the red planet’s gravitational field, which is 38 percent as strong as Earth’s, coming back to this planet would be quite inhospitable to say the very least.

As far as the lack of water and oxygen the collective brain trust over at Mars One is already one step ahead of us. They plan to extract the “water ice” under the Martian soil and use it to create water to drink, raise crops or produce oxygen.

So, this mysterious water ice might be used for those things. It’s possible. I guess they’ll find out once they get there and can’t get back, right?

Then again it’s almost poetic justice. Any hapless human that even considers living on Mars is already living on another planet.

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