Jun. 9th, 2014

boutell: (shave)
My wife is convinced I want to move to Mars. She has expressly forbidden me to do so. She has nothing to worry about.

Not just because nobody's moving to Mars any time soon, not even Elon Musk.

Not just because I'd be a terrible astronaut. I'd calculate the coordinates correctly, then open the airlock in an absent-minded quest for wheat thins.

No... because life on Mars is a godawful small affair. A long-term Mars colonist who spent his time knocking about in a suit on the surface would hit his lifetime radiation limit within a few hundred days.

A permanent resident would have to spend almost all of their time deep underground, protected by a shield of rock.

If you told me I had to do that on Earth, I'd probably say "as long as there are salsa clubs and I can play Starcraft."

Mars would have a tiny population of dancers and around 13 minutes of Internet lag. Gee, no thanks.

If we're lucky and smart, someone may get to go. And I hope they go to stay, because creating a second fully independent biology is the best way to understand what we must do to preserve life on Earth. But I'm happy to participate via awesome sky-crane-propelled robot.

September 2014

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