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Futurist: What Would You Take With You on a Trip to Mars? or Perhaps I Should Ask What You Would Truly Need With You?

I am a long-time Futurist, and technologist. In my career, I have spanned the birth of personal computers, to the rise of Cloud Computing.

Would you miss the trees on a trip to Mars? Three years without raking leaves might be a nice gift!

Would you miss the trees on a trip to Mars? Three years without raking leaves might be a nice gift!

What would you take to Mars? How many toothbrushes would you need for a three year trip?

My desire to understand the potential future for humanity began around 1965 with the initial Apollo program. Humans in space was an incredibly interesting idea to a young person like me at the time. I spent a lot of time learning about and ultimately consuming information from NASA. I sat on the edge of my seat, rushing home from school every day when Apollo 13 Was Limping Its Way around the moon to return the astronauts safely to Earth. One of the astronauts, Virgil I "Gus" Grissom, who died in the Apollo 1 fire, came from a small Indiana town, Mitchell, Indiana. I have personally gone to his Memorial in Mitchell and the historical education area in SpringMill State Park. One of the Gemini Capsules that Grissom flew in his located in the education center in the State Park. So to me, space is interesting.

Recently, there has been a rebirth of interest in humans colonizing Mars. First, I hope the missions determine if their life on Mars before we send humans. Second, in my opinion, it would be best if humans decided only to colonize planets that did not have life currently, like the moon. It is highly unlikely that there is; it's more likely that there was life on Mars a couple of billion years ago. But I hope that humanity will adhere to a social Moray where we do not ever colonize planets that already have life. If that life invites us to join them, that's one thing. But we should never colonize a planet if life is already there. The idea of humans landing on Mars is pretty exciting!

I began my professional career as a schoolteacher. Every year, I asked my students what they would pack for a trip to Mars. It was interesting what young students at the time thought was a critical per trip that would be three or four years in duration. What you would pack would have to be something that entertains, heal and ultimately help you be with the same small group of people for two or more years. The first group going to Mars will be on that ship for at least 16 months. There won't be a part of Mars where humans can be outside without spacesuits. So that group of people will live in that small craft for a long time, in the spacecraft to get to Mars. In the spacecraft while sitting on Mars. Then again, in the same small space coming back from Mars. It would be a trip of months, not days. At some point, fairly shortly after you left Earth's orbit, you would be on your own until you return. You would be able to communicate with Earth, but you would not be able to interact directly with humans in the physical sense.

How much would the world changed in the three years you were gone?

How much would the world changed in the three years you were gone?

What would you take on a trip to Mars?

What would you take on the trip to Mars (my initial question)? I would, of course, refine that - limit the weight (you can only take 2 pounds of personal things). Or I would change the rules a little (you have to choose movies that the other astronauts in the spacecraft would also like.)

As I said, it is an interesting question to travel to Mars. As I said, I also asked my students what they would pack on that trip. What one Momento would you take that would keep your connection to humanity alive. The psychology of that trip would be the hard part. The technology and technology capabilities to get to Mars are not as far away. In the next 10 to 15 years, I would suspect that the technology required to put humans on Mars and return them to Earth safely will be there. We would be able to do that. There's no point in sending a group of astronauts to Mars only to have them die on the red planet. We would want to make sure that they return safely to Earth. Without a doubt, it is an interesting question. Without a doubt, I have thought about it for many years. What would it be like to spend between 2 to 3 years flying to Mars and returning safely to Earth?

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Ultimately I am curious about what great scientific discoveries we would find going to Mars. What scientific advancements in technology with the human race harvest from such a mission. The same technology that drives the Internet, in some sense, owes a huge thank you to the Russian, European and American space missions. The same technology we often use to access the Internet is cell phones, which drive out military and NASA innovation. So as a longtime supporter of the space program, I have to leave you with two questions again. What advancements would the human race get from a trip to Mars? The last question was the same when I asked the kids when I was a teacher, all those years ago, what would you take on a trip to Mars?

One last note, finishing up the questions. What would you take on a trip to Mars?

  1. What if the only keepsakes you could bring had to fit into a single pocket in your jacket?
  2. When someone on the team angers you, how would you work to reduce your anger?
  3. What is the longest period in your life you haven't gone outside?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 DocAndersen

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