Say you have a shot to have a camera crew follow you around for the next ten years. You get to be part of history, and have people pay you to just live and do whatever you want to do and all they ask in return is that you document how you feel and what you think and what you like and what you don’t.
“Oh, that sounds cool. Sounds like every other reality show on TV.”
“Oh, there’s just one more thing. if you get chosen to be in the show, you can never contact your family again.”
“What? Is this the witness protection program?”
“No, you can still have the same name. Oh, and did we mention that you’ll be on another planet?”
“Say what now?”
“Oh yeah, the show is for you to go to Mars and never come back.”
“Ok. Where do I sign?”
I have heard some strange things on the news. But this one is seriously weird, at least to me. Apparently, there is a group called Mars One that is recruiting people to go to Mars, with the understanding that they are not coming back. They’ll move to Mars, live in space-houses connected to their 3 neighbors by tunnels, eat freeze-fried food and grow vegetables in faux-soil, wear space suits every time they leave the houses, and just live and document their lives… forever. And over 200,000 people signed up. 200,000 people, who are ready to chuck it all in on earth and try to build a new human settlement on another planet, choosing to leave behind their families and jobs and civilization and nature and… giving up everything they know to go… to space. 200,000 people who were curious enough to say “Yeah, I don’t know if I can do it but I’ll do it anyway.” And of course, because this is the culture in which we live, a reality show will be documenting every step of the planning and the one-way trip, to Mars, scheduled for 2024, carrying 4 people every two years to inhabit Mars.
Sure, I would like my 15 minutes of fame too, but I think signing up to go Bye Bye and never come back no more is not motivation enough for me to star in that reality show. Because aside from time spent in an airplane, the only time I plan to leave earth is to go to heaven, and even that I am not signing up to do anytime soon. I want to be here, on earth, as long as I can.
But maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m weird to think this is illogical and irrational and uninspiring. Is the Mars One project something you would ever consider?