Going to Mars: Are we there yet? Are we there yet?
Okay, this has got to be the most thankless job of the entire decade. These six astronaut guys are going to spend 520 days going to Mars and back.
That’s a long, long time to be away from family and cable TV and doughnuts and stuff, but this is how history gets made. This is how real pioneers rock ‘n’ roll.
Except that these six aren’t REALLY going to Mars. They will just be locked up in this clubhouse with attractive hardwood floors and PRETEND to go, to test the long-term impact of such a journey.
Are you fricking kidding me? I can TELL them the impact. Six men, no women, 520 days. You do the math.
These poor dudes are going to emerge in November of 2011 a year and a half older, with nothing to show for it except an item on their résumés saying, “Most recent employment: Pretended to go to Mars.” Yeah, I bet lots of employers are looking for that.
Our story says the six men will follow a seven-day week, with two days off. Days off? “Say, Lamar, can you swap with me this week, I have special plans on Wednesday…”
My favorite part of this simulated module is that clock above the hatch. Is that REALLY necessary? “Well, I see by the old clock on the wall that it’s 11 a.m. again on our trip to nowhere, just 502 days to go.”
But I saved the best for last. These six guys are from a bunch of different countries and don’t even all speak the same language. As one of the crew said yesterday, “If we fail to understand each other, we will employ body language.”
Yeah, I think we all get what that means. Within two months of “blast-off,” all communication in the clubhouse will be reduced to a single gesture….
A technician participating in the Mars500 experiment, which simulates a 520-day flight to Mars, is seen at a confinement module in Moscow May 18, 2010. A crew of six, who will begin a simulated mission to Mars in a mock-up that includes an interplanetary spaceship and Mars lander, will be isolated for 520 days to test human endurance. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin