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 Mars Intergallactic farmer

One-way mission to Mars to be explored at lecture

By

Skip Derra

Humans have long dreamed of going to Mars, but the only hope for doing so in the foreseeable future is on a one-way mission. Eliminating the return journey would dramatically slash costs and halve the inevitable risks associated with space flight.

“Mars on a one-way ticket is not a suicide mission,” says Paul Davies, director of the Beyond Center at Arizona State University. “Rather, the astronauts would be the first colonists of a permanent human settlement on the Red Planet. It’s a natural extension of our quest to explore.”

Davies will outline how such a mission would work during the Beyond Center’s annual Sci-Fi Meets Sci-Fact Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Nov. 20, in Murdoch Hall, room 101, on ASU’s Tempe campus.

During the talk, Davies will suggest who would go, what they would do when they got there and how a Mars colony would benefit the rest of humanity on Earth. The lecture is free and open to the public.

After Davies shares his vision for sending humans one-way to Mars, internationally acclaimed artist and senior TED fellow Angelo Vermeulen will describe his recent experience living and working in a Mars-like habitat.

“Most scientists address the engineering and logistical aspects of establishing a Mars colony,” says Davies. “But the biggest obstacle may be how to get a handful of human beings to live and work in a very cramped and challenging environment without murdering each other. Angelo has firsthand experience of what it would be like cooped up alongside other colonists with no escape.”

The Sci-Fi Meets Sci-Fact Lecture is free, but reservations are suggested. For more information, visit beyond.asu.edu or call 480-965-3240.