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Life On Mars, Eventually46:50

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With guest host John Donvan

Leaving Earth forever on a one-way ticket to Mars. Who would want to take that lonely journey?  More people than you’d expect.

This photo released by NASA shows a view of Mars that was stitched together by images taken by NASA’s Viking Orbiter spacecraft. The space agency is planning to send a spacecraft similar to the Curiosity rover to the red planet in 2020. (AP)
This photo released by NASA shows a view of Mars that was stitched together by images taken by NASA’s Viking Orbiter spacecraft. The space agency is planning to send a spacecraft similar to the Curiosity rover to the red planet in 2020. (AP)

It’s a long long way to planet Mars. So think of what the first humans to make the trip — which would take eight months one-way — will have to be ready to handle. Being out there in the cold darkness inside your tin can, loved ones left far behind, no rescue if you get seriously sick or hurt.  The payoff?  Getting there. Perhaps the greatest adventure in human history.  That’s why some Mars projects in the works now are having no trouble recruiting potential astronauts.  People are lining up to get to the Red Planet, and willing to go one way only. What are they thinking? And what would they be getting into? This hour, On Point:  The Mars Adventure. Who wants in, and why.
-- John Donvan

Guests

Tariq Malik, managing editor of SPACE.com. (@tariqjmalik)

Leroy Chaio, former NASA astronaut. Space entrepreneur and chairman of Baylor College of Medicine's National Space Biomedical Research Institute User Panel. (@astrodude)

Kellie Gerardi, one of nearly 500 finalists for the Mars-One Project. Business development specialist at Masten Space Systems. (@kelliegerardi)

Andrew Weir, novelist and author. His 2014 book, "The Martian," is being made into a motion picture.

From The Reading List

SPACE.com: How Long Does It Take To Get To Mars? — "If you wanted to pay a visit to the red planet, how long would it take? The answer depends on a number of things, ranging from the position of the planets to the technology that would propel you there. Let's examine a few of the most important points."

New York Times: A One-Way Trip to Mars? Many Would Sign Up -- "Enthusiasm for the Mars One scheme has been of middle-school proportions. Last year, the outfit announced that it was seeking potential colonists and that anybody over age 18 could apply, advanced degrees or no. Among the few stipulations: Candidates must be between 5-foot-2 and 6-foot-2, have a ready sense of humor and be 'Olympians of tolerance.' More than 200,000 people from dozens of countries applied. Mars One managers have since whittled the pool to some 660 semifinalists."

National Geographic: Psychological Challenges of a Manned Mission to Mars — "While humans have a long history of setting off into the unknown on our own planet and in the immediate vicinity, space travel beyond low-Earth orbit and the moon—and what it means for the mental well-being of human crews—is a new frontier."

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