Of course, that it takes 9-months to get there means I won’t actually arrive until 2023. The fact remains, I’m going. Back in 2011 Mars One announced its purpose. The Mars One home page reads, “The Mars One Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023.” As far as a mission statement or S.M.A.R.T. goal, they don’t get much better or simpler than that. Precisely that kind of focus will ensure achievement of the mission.
For me, the idea became a reality when I first heard the quote, “What is possible is done; what is impossible will be done.” The quote is diluted enough to not really be associated with any one person, and more important than who said it is the idea it expresses–that being, everything is first an idea, even if only an impossible idea. Growing up in the 20th century surrounded by pop culture that included “Star Wars” and “Star Trek,” it is more than clear that humans as a group believe we’ll be zipping around the universe in the future. What I didn’t expect, but have now come to believe, is that it will begin during my lifetime…and could be me.
Placing all my fever-pitched excitement aside, I can’t deny that there is a nagging voice in my head that says, “Nobody is going anywhere.” Now Mars-One assures me that the reasons they are going to succeed include all the technology already exists, they’re eliminating the return trip (which was probably the single largest hindrance to past Mars plans), and they will be able to privately fund the project by giving the people what they want—a front row seat to the whole thing via some amalgamation of reality TV programming. This all still sounded crazy to me until they pointed out the ad revenue the last Olympics generated was nearly enough to fund this mission. And that was a recurring entertainment event. Settling humankind on Mars will be a first-time-ever event, and will change the nature of human existence.
Part 2 Monday…