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YouSpeak: Boldly Going Where No Man Has Gone Before

A one-way ticket to Mars


How about this for a job description? Applicants must be “at least 18 years of age and have a deep sense of purpose, a willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships, the capacity for self-reflection, and the ability to trust.” Candidates must also be “resilient, adaptable, curious, creative, and resourceful.”


There’s one more thing. If the project is a success, you won’t be returning home again. Ever. And by home we’re talking planet Earth.

That’s right. The Dutch-led nonprofit Mars One Institute announced recently that it is seeking volunteers to colonize Mars. The goal is to recruit at least six groups of four for the mission, with the first volunteers scheduled to land on the Red Planet by 2023.

But here’s the catch. Assuming the project is a success, there will be no ticket home. Volunteers would live out the remainder of their lives on the desolate planet, where temperatures can range from a balmy 95 degrees to a frosty minus 211. And since Mars’ atmosphere is overwhelmingly made up of carbon dioxide, it’s reasonable to wonder how they would be expected to live there at all.

The audacious project reportedly has already attracted 1,000 applicants. We wondered how many people around the University would be interested in making the 40-million-mile trip…one way.

So this week’s “YouSpeak” asks: “Would you take a one-way trip to Mars?”

YouSpeak” typically appears each Monday.

If you have a suggestion for a question you’d like us to ask, post it in the Comments section below.

Erik Duda, Multimedia Producer video film, BU Today, Bostonia, Boston University
Erik Duda

Erik Duda can be reached at erikduda@bu.edu.

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