If you haven’t heard of “Mars One“, then let me bring you up to speed. Eight short years from now, the first human – and private – mission to mars will commence, and those pioneers will not be coming back to Earth. The Mars One mission is that of colonization: to “establish a human settlement on Mars.” (Source) Yeah, pretty incredible stuff, right? Most folks’ first response when hearing about this plan – if they didn’t dismiss it entirely to begin with – is that no private company (let alone the US government) would be able to finance a perpetual colonization mission on Mars, and they pose a very valid point. However, the billionaire founder of Mars One has proposed an absolutely ingenious solution to the money problem: first of course, he will get the mission started with his own checkbook, but what will blow you away is the second half of his plan – Mars One will be a 24/7 reality freaking television show. No, I am not kidding. Everyone on the planet will now be able to watch – and watch they will – the first humans travel to, land and colonize the red planet, and television networks will pay just about every dollar they can find in their couches to get airing rights. You’re excited now, aren’t you? So what does this have to do with Andy Weir’s latest sci-fi suspense/thriller, The Martian? Everything.
If you thought an eight hour flight in coach was bad, try a 7 month trip in “space coach” to Mars where you get to land on a poisonous desert; that is, if you land at all. Oh, and did I mention this would be a one-way trip? Yeah, better bring that deck of cards and whatever else will keep you from going insane for the rest of your lifetime. If you haven’t heard yet, a new “are they for real?”, Dutch company that goes by the name “Mars One” has begun accepting applications for just that, a one-way trip to Mars in the name of exploration. Should you be the lucky winner, your flight will depart just short of ten years from now in 2022, but with the way this sequestration is shaping up, you may want to leave for the spaceport now, because you know how TSA can be. Joke of the year? Yup. Hit the link below for more details; Dutch fluency not required.