June 2016: Risesponding to Travel to Mars


Images from Mars One Website

Riseponds is a series where a group of Risen members are picked not based on viewpoints but solely by "first come first serve" to speak on a topic that they're passionate or apathetic about. The randomness serves so readers can get different viewpoints from different people with different experiences or similar perspectives from different people. With the randomness comes the surprise of how contrasting or similar Risen members think when it comes to a certain topic.

Claire - I am possibly one of the biggest supporter of the Mars One project. I have supported it since 2013, and have even made small donations to the project. Space exploration is a wonderfully fascinating thing, and I can not wait to see what new information we learn from the Mars One team. At first, the fact that we do not have the technology to bring the team home seems daunting and scary, but it is a risk that the team is well aware of, and one I believe I would take as well. Another argument that arises is that we have already done so much harm to Earth, and that we shouldn’t harm Mars as well. I think these people need to take a step back and realize they aren’t letting just anyone go up there. The Mars One team is carefully selected, and have stated that they are taking precautions so that no harm is done to the red planet. Humans settling on another planet is something we read about in fiction, and I can not wait to hear the astronauts first hand stories. I encourage you to go to the Mars One website and learn more about the trip and the interesting detail. This is such an incredible step for mankind, and I could not be more excited.

Sam - I think human travel to Mars is a spectacular idea. In recent years, deep-space exploration via astronaut has seemed to not have a very active role in NASA’s agenda. It’s very exciting to see such a grand project beginning execution, and it will be interesting to see how a trip to such a far planet over a very long time-period (about seven months) plays out. It does trouble me a little that this is a one-way mission because the astronauts will therefore be stuck on Mars for good. However, I do agree that it would be highly impractical and troublesome to carry the vast amount of extra resources and technology that would be necessary for a return mission, and if those individuals applying for the mission have made their peace with life on Earth, then more power to them. Another goal of the mission is to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars which immediately piques my interest because permanent settlement on another plant could open the doors for so much more throughout the solar system. Creating and sustaining life on other planets could help a myriad of issues Earth now faces and strains against, including overpopulation, world hunger, and mass-pollution. So much bright opportunity is involved with this mission and I am truly excited to see where it takes us a society, and as a planet.  

Joy - Even though I am still learning more about the Mars One Project everyday, I believe that it is revolutionary, and I fully support it. People have been talking about the possibility of settling on Mars for years now. It’s certainly exciting to see that this idea is being taken seriously, a plan is being finalized, and history is in the making. The fact that the trip is one way and that the astronauts will not be able to return to Earth is pretty intimidating. The qualified people who are chosen for this mission will be going into deep space for an extended period of time and will make a living despite different resources and surroundings. However, I can’t imagine how rewarding it would be to be the first to experience a new planet, and to go down in history books. This mission will open doors for us as a society and in time, I hope that NASA will be able to explore more of our universe. This exploration will hopefully bring us a multitude of brand new information about Mars and I, for one, can't wait.

Laura - A one-way ticket to a distant planet in order to start a colony? Sounds a lot like Interstellar, however, the Mars One mission is currently on its way to establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars. The colony’s budget is around 6 billion dollars although that only covers the first crew intended to settle. An obvious question is why don’t we use those 6 billion dollars on necessities on Earth? However with the current state of our planet it is nearly impossible to undo the man made damage done, therefore continuing with the Mars mission would bring technological advances that might save humanity in the case of near extinction. I wholeheartedly support the Mars One mission and I look forward to updates over this project in the coming decades as the Mars One team changes human history forever.

Janice - Although I do not have a 100% yes-or-no opinion on this topic, I am leaning more towards the no side. On one hand, our beloved Earth is in trouble. Earth’s population is continuously and rapidly growing, and humans have harmed the Earth to the point where there are people that do not know if it can recover. If the Earth cannot recover from these damages, Mars can be an option for humankind. However on the other hand, it is alarming that the colony is being funded 6 billion dollars. With those 6 billion issues, we could easily solve big and/or small issues. Although we do not know for sure if the Earth can be saved from its current condition, if people believe that colonizing Mars is possible, why can’t we believe saving the Earth is possible? I realize that only the “best of the best” are being allowed on this one way trip to Mars, and they don’t want to harm Mars as we have done to Earth. However, people change. The Pilgrims wanted to come to America just to practice religious freedom, but look at America now. Even though I do not support the Mars One mission 100% yet, I could, with more actions that display responsibility and more evidence that could show if this mission is as necessary as people claim it is.