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Bought a ticket to the world

Published July 22, 2009

With all the current news and info emerging about the Apollo 11 mission - celebrating the 40th anniversary of the moon landings - it’s hard not to think about space travel and what the future of it is.

During a reunion of the Apollo 11 crew, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong seemed to think that Mars should be the next destination. They also didn’t stop at dreaming up _visits _to the red planet but thought we should aim higher. Aldrin’s take on things:

One day, we are going to send some people to the surface of Mars. And if we think we’re going to send them there for a year-and-a-half and then bring them back, and then send another group there for a year-and-a-half and bring them back, Washington will find another way to spend that money. That’s unless we have declared our objective is an increasing, permanent space settlement.

Ooh, now that is interesting. Sending astronauts out with the express intention of them never returning. Colonising another planet has always been a staple of the science fiction genre, but in these experienced astronauts eyes, it should be the next step. Aldrin doesn’t even want us to bother with the moon anymore, although Armstrong thinks we should do some lunar testing before heading out into the depths of space.

So, the big question is - would you go? Regardless of whether you dreamt of being an astronaut as a kid or whether you could fit into a space suit right now, would you want to go up there and never come back? I guess there are three very generalised types:

  1. Those that would definitely be the first on the rocket, let me up there, I care not for the risks.
  2. Those that are a bit more cautious - not the early adopter types - might wait until there’s actually been a successful mission first.
  3. Those that would rather sit on Earth and wait until there is no other option to climb aboard the escape rocket.

I reckon I am somewhere between two and three. I don’t really want to risk my life on it, but it does sound like quite the adventure. I don’t have any major responsibilities here on earth that would be preventative, but then again, I’m not really a fan of flying.

Where do you fit in on the scale of space adventure?

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