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Imagine standing on the summit of a mountain 12 kilometres high. From this point you can see the vast red landscape of dust and rock beneath you. High speed winds beat against the metal armor of your transport and every gap is rapidly filled with fine flecks of dust. If you were to step outside of your warm vehicle you would surely be frozen solid in a matter of seconds, and if not, you would probably suffocate. You are on top of Arsia Mons.

As you look out below you, 12 kilometres down you can see tornadoes ripping across the surface of the planet, each is 8 kilometres high and about as wide as 5 football fields and at the base of each is a brilliant blue light. You can clearly see the potency of the electricity crackling beneath the tornadoes and you are glad that you are safe up on your mountain. You watch as these dust devils skim across the surface of the red earth whipping rocks high into the air.

You look away from the weaving dance of the dust devils towards the north. There is a huge canyon 6 kilometres deep there and from this vantage point you can clearly see the immense scale. Far in the distance beyond the canyon you can see fluffy white clouds above the polar cap of the planet and you wonder what could be over there.

This is Mars.

Recently I have been thinking a lot about this place. It truly is exciting that one day we could be there walking on the Martian surface, perhaps discovering life or ancient life long gone. What’s even more exciting is that this could all be happening within my life time, in the next 40 years or so we may have the first missions to Mars. Not to mention our return to the moon.

I was wondering, if asked, would you go to Mars? I know I certainly would. Even if there were no chance of coming back. I’m not trying to sound emo here but let me rationalize it for you. In my thinking, what could be more exciting, interesting and life fulfilling than going to another planet let alone the moon! Nothing you see there will be the same as Earth, everything will be new and beautiful. I cannot think of anything on Earth that would give the same feeling.

So, if a scientist came to you in 40 years and asked you to go to Mars, Would you?




    • podblack
    • Posted December 26, 2007 at 10:36 am
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    This year I’ve spent nearly 40 hours on plane flights… so not to be dreadfully unadventurous, if I do, they better have damned good in-flight entertainment –

  1. For sure…. in 40years time, I would have hopefully fulfilled all my ‘earthly’ hopes and dreams and should be in retirement mode. A terminal holiday to another planet would be a fantastic experience.

    Being a scientist, specifically a geochemical enthusiast as well as high interests in atmospheric science, a trip to another planet would be an orgasmic experience.

    Your imagery expressed and the descriptions were fantastic…. could close my eyes and picture everything you were painting.

    Save me the seat beside you…. i’m coming too!

    • Sk_Fiz
    • Posted December 26, 2007 at 6:24 am
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    My response might not seem to count, for I am of sufficient age that in 40 years I’d be 98, and they probably wouldn’t let me go.

    Nevertheless, I must say that this Earth is a relatively good place and if I couldn’t come back here I’d really miss it. Consider this carefully; for there you’d be, no doubt in communication with collaborators on Earth (from NASA or whomever) and you’ve been there for a while, maybe too much of a while – the Mars-scape, impressive as it is, is all that it is and you’ve finally become bored and tired of it. (Think of being in Heaven, sitting on God’s right hand for a long time – eventually you’d get bored even of that!)

    But you’re a good scientist, and you have been set work to do on Mars that will take years to complete. The Earthlings receiving your data will be grateful for every scrap, but you – knowing you’ll never get off – are becomming somewhat less appreciative.

    Ah, but it’s too late, you’re stuffed. Finally bored shitless, bustin’ for a nookie but all the good sorts are back on Earth. The best you can hope for is to be remembered on Earth as a pioneering expendable. Can a suicidal be a hero? I wonder.

  2. sure i’d go to mars… in 40 years i still won’t be able to afford to buy a place on earth so instead of rethinking the place i want to live – why not rethink the planet 😀

  3. Yes, Elliot, I’ll go too. Trouble is I’ll be 93 then so I hope to live long enough to hear the story of your visit to Mars.

    • bella
    • Posted February 14, 2008 at 6:45 pm
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    Iwish i could go to a place where you can forget everything. Mars seem the right one. why not in 40 years it will be fine see everybody ther

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