Fine Structure

A One Way Trip to Mars

The author of the popular science book The Physics of Star Trek has an op-ed in the NY Times this week about reevaluating our requirements for a manned mission to Mars. He claims, and rightfully so, I think, that more scientists are open to the idea of a one-way trip to Mars than anyone with the power to plan a trip to Mars would think.

He imagines this in a particularly morbid way - either that astronauts to Mars could be reaching the end of their lives naturally by being 65+, or that radiation along the way would degrade the astronauts so much that they would be better off dying on Mars than traveling back home. But perhaps living on Mars isn't about getting there and dying, but about finding a way to be sustainable on Mars. Is it really so far fetched with today's technology? ]