27 May 2008

One-way Mission to Mars

Posted by Ryan Anderson

On a day when we recognize all the men and women that have given their lives for our country, Universe Today has an interesting article about how soldiers might serve, not only here on Earth, but in our exploration of the solar system. SFC William H. Ruth of the 101st Airborne Division has a decidedly outside-the-box idea:

Send battle-hardened, strong-minded soldiers and marines on the long trips into space. We are conditioned to live with the bare minimal (of) life’s necessities and are trained to be prepared for … the worst conditions that any environment could throw at us. Hell, me and my men will go, set up a colony somewhere and await colonists to arrive.

NASA is understandably risk-averse, so I don’t see them ever sending a one-way human mission, but SFC Ruth has a point, and puts it better than I can:

Who else has the mentality to volunteer to face certain danger and possibly death, thousands of miles away from their homes? I could think of a few hundred thousand that do it everyday across this planet.

The men and women who risk everything to serve our country deserve tremendous respect, no matter what you think of the wars in which they serve, and Ruth’s bold idea gives me yet another cause to salute them.