|The "Face" on Mars|
Uncle P is not currently (nor has been for quite a while) in a long-term relationship (though not for lack of trying). Like most of us however, I would not be adverse to being in one. It's basically what we all want, isn't it? That one person to spend our lives and grow old with. The person who makes our hearts beat just a little faster and who 'gets' us like no one else. I've thought I had "The One" at least twice... but I was painfully wrong both times. That doesn't mean I won't find "The One," despite having told my friends I've given up on doing so. "Hope," said Ms Dickinson."is the thing with feathers." By now you are asking yourselves "What the hell does any of that have to do with Mars?" Well, I'll tell you.
Sonia Van Meter is among those chosen as a semi-finalist for the Mars One project, which hopes to establish a Human colony on Mars starting in 2024. That's just 10 years from now. If you are anywhere near Uncle P's age, you'll realize that 10 years is merely a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of Human history.
Mars One, of course, is a one-way ticket for those taking part. Best estimates with our current space flight technology put travel time to the Red Planet at 6 years. Once there, colonists would then spend several more years building and establishing a sustainable environment for human life. And while I find such an endeavor to be both exciting and frightening, I can't begin to imagine what and/or how those family members of the finalists must feel. Van Meter's husband, Jason Stanford has written an excellent essay on what it might be like to have his significant other potentially go away, forever.
And again you are asking, "What the heck does Sally Starr have to do with any of of this?" I know I've told the story about my High School teacher and his cousin who rode the Ferris wheel to get a better look at local TV personality Sally Starr at a local carnival. When my teacher's cousin got sick on the wheel, Sally's dilemma was whether or not to stand her ground and get puked on, or move and get puked on. So my question is: Do you let your soul-mate/significant other/loved one go on what may well be the most important scientific expedition of the 21st Century or be selfish and demand that she/he remain with you here on Earth? I'm not sure I could make that choice and I think that I would only agree if I could accompany him/her.
What would you do, given this situation? Especially after seeing this:
Would I go? Maybe. Would you?