One-Way Mars Mission: Would You Boldly Go?


Not a Suicide Mission, but an Opportunity to Settle the Red Planet

In the proposal, Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies, a physicist and cosmologist at Arizona State University, suggest sending four astronauts to Mars to stake out the first human outpost there.

The scientists emphasized that it wouldn't be a "suicide mission." Instead, the volunteers would live out their lives on Mars, building the first hub for colonization.

"The people going would understand that they will be there until the end of their days," said Schulze-Makuch. "But we would not be abandoning them. The planners on Earth would have to supply them."

The astronauts would regularly be provided with basic necessities from Earth, but would have to become increasingly successful at harvesting and exploiting resources available on Mars, the scientists said.

Lana Tao, the editor of the Journal of Cosmology, said that when it first published the report, the journal did not solicit volunteers in any way, and never expected to receive a single message from a would-be explorer.

"When we first began receiving them, we thought they were not serious, that it was some type of joke," she told in an e-mail. "Then they kept coming, and coming and it became clear that most of these men were extremely serious."

However, Tao did say that not all of the messages were written in earnest.

"Some were funny. We even received emails from women volunteering their husbands," she said.

ABC News' Ned Potter contributed to this report.

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