Since I applied for Mars One, I’ve heard variations of this a lot: “A one-way trip to Mars? That’s nuts. It’s obviously a scam and, even if it’s not, you’re basically leaving Earth to die. Sure, there’s going to be a TV show, but are you sure you’re not just applying to get attention? What’s so wrong with this planet that you want to leave it so badly, anyway? Stay here, live a normal life, and let someone else take the risks.”
My typical reaction? I just say that I know I’m dreaming and I know the risks, but it’s worth doing anyway. At the same time, I’m really thinking, “Dude. Y U NO LEAVE EARTH.” These people obviously have their feet firmly planted on the ground. So they look up at the night sky and, at most, wonder if it’s going to rain tonight.
Nothing against them, of course. I just figure it makes more room for those of us who are capable of taking the risks that others consider crazy. Most of us have outgrown the stage where we’re drag racing with friends on the back roads until we’re caught by the cops and think the epitome of success is owning an expensive Ferrari. We have gained the ability to give Mars One a good hard look and decided that it’s worth risks that range from simply looking like fools if the project goes belly up to starving if the crops in our hydroponics bay fails. So keep your feet firmly planted, pal, and ask yourself if you’ve made a difference for humanity if you die in a car accident tomorrow.
As for the reality show, that was NOT a major factor in my decision to apply. If I wanted the attention, I’d probably have taken an easier way like, say, applying for the latest season of “American Idol.” At the very least, the entire nation would laugh at yet another auditioner who is not a very good singer. I’ll probably be the person who puts the camera man to work and tells him to shine that light on that mass of wiring I’m working with if he has to point that thing in my direction at all. I really don’t mind a little attention, but I don’t want to become the center of attention by being the drama queen.
“A normal life?” I laugh at this one. There’s no way I’m going to live a normal life when I’m not even one of those people who has a regular 8-to-5 job. I’m a freelance content writer and a blogger. My pay is based on my productivity, not how many hours I actually sit at an office desk. I really don’t mind spending my mornings churning out words, and then taking a long lunch break and coming back and churning out more words for somebody else, all without actually seeing an actual person’s face. Does writing fifty product descriptions about Oracle Halo Kits and twenty more about play mats for babies sound like something you would do in a busy week? Didn’t think so. So Mars One does kind of fit into my “not normal” life.
On the flip side, the people for whom colonizing Mars isn’t in their life plans can still make a positive contribution. Mars One mugs are in this year. If you’ve been looking for a job, you can be sure that Mars One and its contractors will need janitors, accountants, secretaries and so on. And donating to a non-profit organization that can truly make a difference in people’s lives is always in vogue.
Mars Books and Collectibles