Ask Me Anything Space.com Goes to Mars! AMA about life as an analog astronaut

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Apr 5, 2021
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Thanks I was addressing the Astronaut. For some reason I thought the alignment would be short glad you clarified it for me. Sure you don’t want to go? To me it’s like taking long flight to Australia for a week long vacation.
 
Dec 2, 2019
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I recognize the allure of scientific discovery, and how it can sometimes overwhelm common sense. As mankind began its voyage beyond the ability of our planets gravity to maintain our permanence on its surface, we have lost individuals along the way to tragic mishaps, equipment failures, and just the overwhelming dangerous conditions that required us to overcome to make these discoveries possible.
A mission to Mars presents so many more difficulties that currently I'm not sure we as a species are ready to attempt with any certainty of success. The primary problem with such a mission would be time and distance. Both time and distance play a huge roll in many aspects of any mission beyond Earth, but especially so when dealing with human nature. Working in close proximity with other individuals for such an extended period of time in constant life threatening situations will create bonds of intense familiarity or promote intense aversion. As a veteran I am very familiar with this.
Any mission to Mars would take approximately two years.
Since humans are creatures of touch, how does anyone keep themselves from giving into our basic needs of intimacy?
How does anyone curb their natural tendencies towards aggression when angered with other crew members?
All of the technology mankind has created thus far have repeatedly proven inadequate to deal with these issues.
In addition to having to overcome the challenges presented by human nature, how does any mission to Mars adequately plan for emergency medical situations?
Eventually someone will become injured. Hopefully, it won't be serious, but in the case that it isn't mission personnel are still far away from any assistance.
How extensive will medical facilities and supplies be available onboard a spacecraft that has limited resources due to the requirements of the amount of energy not just to operate and use such equipment, but to transport it across such a great distance?
Personally, I don't think mankind is ready to embark on such an adventure. I'm not trying to be a stick in the mud, but the peculiarity of the human species, and the need to fulfill those peculiarities as well as care for their physical health adequately are the two greatest challenges to overcome with any deep space mission. Any failure would doom future missions because of the great cost and energy exerted. I think it would sour public opinion to such an extent that funding would dry up and be used in other areas of society.
I'm interested in how your team has approached these issues, and if not, what steps are being taken to deal with these considerations if any at all.
 
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Nov 2, 2020
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I keep thinking about the old phrase (tweaked), "If mankind were meant to fly, they would have wings." Is not the progression of metal wings to spacecraft to hypercraft (maybe someday) mere manifestations of the human spirit, if not design?
This is something I thought! I stopped thinking about it when my mom asked me (and continues to tell me :tearsofjoy:) why there are people climbing mountains even if it is so perilous. "If God has wanted to give us the possibility to climb mountains He would have done them with stairs...:tearsofjoy: (I want to specify I'm not a climber). We humans want to explore the Universe (after our planet) cause we want to be more and more aknowleged of our Universe... Curiosity is something we have in our heart we cannot decide or delete this.
I want to close the speech with an Albert Einstein's sentence: "ships are sure in the port, but they aren't made to stay there..." (this isn't the precise sentence of Einstein, I'm italian and I know it in my language, excuse me for my bad English as always).
 
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