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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Want to Live on Mars?

165,000 people have volunteered for the Living on Mars space mission. There’s only one catch: there’s no return trip. Whichever “lucky” four people are chosen get to go to Mars—if they get all the way there—live on Mars in cool little houses and populate Mars for the rest of their lives. (I want to know, how will the houses get there?)

Laika, the first dog that was sent into space (1957) had a one-way ticket as well. Animal rights groups were not amused. Before Laika was a whole menagerie of animals, including a Rhesus monkey named Albert II (1949)—so named because Albert I’s launch failed. Poor little Albert II died on impact, because his parachute malfunctioned. More monkeys followed Albert. Some were anesthetized during their flights. Some monkeys like Ham the Chimp (1961) survived, but other dogs, cats, mice, a rabbit, insects, bacteria, etc. did not.

I have a huge ethical problem with the idea of sending people to Mars with no way back.

At best, it’s sending people to an unknown place, with only provisions that are many months in getting there, breathing artificial air and eating food that takes months to be replenished. (Oh yes, they’re supposed to learn to garden.)

At worst, it’s sending four people to their deaths:
            en route, or
            on Mars.

Radiation is a big concern.

They will be volunteers who train a long time to be the chosen final four—to go out there and die. It’s going to be the reality show of all reality shows. Oh yes, they know the risks.

Risks? A risk is a chance.

This is certain death. There’s no way back. No provision for a turn-around. If someone lived there, let’s say five years, and they had health issues . . . . Tough. You live there. You die there.

How about the last person living on Mars? Who buries him?

Are we humans no better than Laika or little Albert II or a wasp? Are we expendable for the purpose of elaborate experiment and TV entertainment?

I personally wouldn’t send my dog into space. It’s not humane. But, I’d rather send my dog than a human, and here’s why: Genesis 1:24-28, about the creation of animals and people: And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God created men and women in His own image. When God breathed into Adam, the Bible says man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).

We’re above the animals. We have souls. We can relate to God.

Even more than we would want to protect animals from a fate such as being launched into space with no hope of survival, we should want to protect people, made in the likeness of God, from being sent to their very sure deaths in space.

Oh yes, the ad makes it look romantic and cool to be one of the first inhabitants of Mars.

Think of it: to live where no one has ever lived before.

Think of it: to expire where no one can even escape.

One of the Ten Commandments is, Thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20:13).

Do you think sending people on a one-way trip to Mars is killing? To send a human being to certain, inescapable death?

I’d love to hear your opinion. Please comment.


  1. Si, lo mas seguro es que los estén enviando a una muerte segura pero si se ofrecieron voluntarios es mas como un suicidio. Así es como lo veo yo .

    1. I see your point; if they volunteer, it does almost add up to suicide. Sad. Thank you, Tere, for your comment.

  2. I hadn't heard of this before. I'd need to think through it some more to form a valid opinion, but my first thought is that it is a different thing, say, to have gone on the first space flight or moved to the space station where there are high risks but the expectation is that, barring any problems, you should make it back ok, vs. this. I'm not sure what the purpose is except to see what it is like and figure out what the problems may be so that they can address them for future inhabitants. I suppose some might liken it to those heading out into the unknown in the "wild west" of this country, but at least there we knew the atmosphere was the same, one should be able to grow crops, etc. It is odd that so many people have volunteered.

    1. I, too, am surprised how many people have signed up. It won't be me!

      Thank you, Barbara for your comment. God bless you!

  3. This is just another symptom of the condition of our society. We live in a world of unsatisfied people who would try anything new to escape from their ordinary lives, even if it meant destruction. Meanwhile God stands with His arms open and offering salvation from our sins and a life of satisfaction IN HIM.
    Thank you for your post, Lou Ann.

    1. Thank you for adding your biblical perspective, Maribel. I like the phrase, "satisfaction in Him." There is no other way. God bless you!


Please share your thoughts.