After Elon Musk explained how "incredibly depressing" it would be if our "future doesn’t include being [...] a multi-planet species," almost as if in cue, Nasa announced that it plans on getting people to the red planet by 2033. It sounds like getting there and back is not just a matter of sending a rocket in the right direction.
The mission to Mars includes obstacles beyond budget — keeping astronauts healthy and reasonably happy on the journey is chief among them. Without stopovers between Earth and Mars, astronauts will need to port everything they need with them, including air, food, and water, for a round-trip duration of two or three years.
Mental health is likely to be a concern for Mars astronauts, too, as they will essentially be sealed into the space tube for years at a time, with no ability for an emergency return once they leave Cislunar space. NASA’s HI-SEAS isolation experiment has shown promising results, but it is likely that the journey won’t be possible for everyone.
|“A machine meant to hurl rockets into space.”|
|"Research suggests we aren’t ready to send astronauts to Mars for a visit, much less to live there."|
|"Either you succeed on your first try, or everyone dies."|
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|"If it sounds far-fetched to consider earthly extinction scenarios, it shouldn’t."|
|“The direction of the cost of storage is less clear and depends on metals prices.”|
|“The era of climate wars has begun.”|
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|“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.”|
|“We need to make algorithms transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them.”|
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