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Would You Take a One-Way Ticket To Mars?

Displaying poll results.
Yes, even if I would die on impact
  5470 votes / 12%
Yes, if we had a 50% chance of surviving a year
  2857 votes / 6%
Yes, if we had a 50% chance of surviving 5 years
  2537 votes / 6%
Yes, if we had a 50% chance of surviving 10 years
  6674 votes / 15%
No way, round trip only
  8072 votes / 19%
No way, flying is for the birds
  3423 votes / 8%
I'd vote yes in a poll but chicken out later
  9905 votes / 23%
Stay away from my world, hoo-man.
  3323 votes / 7%
42261 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Would You Take a One-Way Ticket To Mars?

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  • Mars Need Women... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trip6 (1184883) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @07:42PM (#34250274)

    ...and so do I. That's my only condition.

  • by Wolvenhaven (1521217) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @07:44PM (#34250294) Homepage
    It assumes that you would make it all the way to the surface before exploding, completely ignoring the Martian IPBM defense systems which would shoot you out of the sky long before that.
  • by Kikuchi (1709032) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @07:46PM (#34250310)
    I always seriously thought that the day I see the earth from space is the day I could die a happy man.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by geekoid (135745)

      so If someone walked up to you and said:

      "WE are going to put you in a cramped metal can for 6 months, and then you will die." you're ok with that?

      You're deluded.

      • by cobrausn (1915176) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @08:12PM (#34250494)
        US Navy Submarine sailors hear that a lot, and are typically ok with it.
        • by batquux (323697) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @10:24AM (#34254612)

          They're diluted too.

        • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @12:44PM (#34256684)

          US Navy Submarine sailors hear that a lot, and are typically ok with it.

          Funny. But true. Way back when I was a kid, I did my time on a boomer (ballistic missile submarine). Typically two months plus at a time locked in a can, but we once had to cover a patrol for another boat (five months plus total), then sail back to the States after our patrol for a refit (we took our time - we were six months in the can by the time we reached New London).

          And the most important thing you learn on a boomer is that if your boat ever has to perform its design function (launch a missile for anything other than a test), you've got about ten minutes to live, since everyone will hear the missile hatch lock open and fire a torpedo, subroc, or nuclear depthcharge at you (in hopes they can get you before you dump all your birds)....

      • by raddan (519638) * on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @08:38PM (#34250674)
        We're all going to die someday. Some of us would rather die attempting to do something meaningful.
        • by golden age villain (1607173) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @08:43PM (#34250698)
          Yep, that's why I play video games all day long. Yes sir!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sstrick (137546)

          Fair enough for you, but I would rather live doing something meaningful. Raising my children.

        • by siwelwerd (869956) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @10:31PM (#34251240)

          Some of us would rather die attempting to do something meaningful.

          There are plenty of meaningful things to do here on Earth.

        • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @11:07PM (#34251414)

          Looking at the earth from a high vantage point is doing something meaningful?

          Go help out at a soup kitchen for an afternoon. As far as the world is concerned that's doing a lot more.

          Now going to Mars... that could provide some useful knowledge. Probably contribute more even in a year then 99.9% of the population in a lifetime. Then again, working on improving AI so that a rover could perform as well or better than a human being on Mars would be an even better use of your time.

          I would go. Even with a 50% chance of death. But that's mostly my ego thinking not any logical analysis of actual worth.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @08:51PM (#34250754)

        so If someone walked up to you and said:

        "WE are going to put you in a cramped metal can for 6 months, and then you will die." you're ok with that?

        You're deluded.

        As opposed to the sane people who hear, "We're going to put you in a cramped cubicle for 40 years, and then you will die." Yeah, that sounds A LOT better...

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          so If someone walked up to you and said:

          "WE are going to put you in a cramped metal can for 6 months, and then you will die." you're ok with that?

          You're deluded.

          As opposed to the sane people who hear, "We're going to put you in a cramped cubicle for 40 years, and then you will die." Yeah, that sounds A LOT better...

          And nothing real to show for it....

          40 years in a cubical doing some drone work for Big Corp or 6 months in a cramped metal can and go to another planet to add to mankind's knowledge of the Universe ...

    • There are photos of the Earth from space in the desktop wallpaper collection of every GUI I know, among other resources.

      I'm at a bit of a loss at how much better it could be to see it through a tiny window.

      Also, the view of Earth from Mars is probably only slightly better than the view of Mars from Earth, and most of the improvement would be from the unbreathably thin atmosphere.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I always seriously thought that the day I see the earth from space is the day I could die a happy man.

      I see my part of the world from space all the same, by receiving signals from weather satellites. While it's not the same as looking out the window on a Shuttle or ISS, it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

      Equipment: wire antenna, home-made preamp, modified Radio Shack scanner receiver, computer with my own DSP demodulation software.

      ...laura

  • by foetusinc (766466) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @07:48PM (#34250322)
    Only if I don't have to go through the body scanner first.
  • by bobstreo (1320787)

    What kind of lag are we talking, and are there any bandwidth caps?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ksevio (865461)
      At worst you'll get pings of 1.6 million. All you can download, but your TCP requests will probably have timed out.
      • At worst you'll get pings of 1.6 million. All you can download, but your TCP requests will probably have timed out.

        Not if you send a repeater system of satellites using laser communi- ok, that's it. I need a life.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ksevio (865461)
          I don't think you're going to increase the speed of light by putting satellites up.
  • but my wife is saying "No Way, I own your ass"
  • they believe they can live without an environment.

  • by MrQuacker (1938262)
    Seeing as people sent to Mars will go crazy during the long voyage, we might as well send crazy people from the beginning.
  • by FoolishOwl (1698506) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @08:36PM (#34250660) Journal

    One key thing I got from Kim Stanley Robinson's "Mars" series, is how much more pleasant and inhabitable Antarctica is than Mars.

    Antarctica has water, breathable air, an atmosphere thick enough to block some harmful solar radiation, 1 G gravity, and at least sometimes is accessible by aircraft from other parts of the world.

    Much of the appeal of science fiction depictions of space travel is that usually, everything is shiny and new and high-tech. I don't see the appeal of living in a can for a year or so, in order to spend the rest of my life in a slightly larger can.

    Presumably, Mars has significant mineral resources, conveniently at the bottom of a gravity well. If we get the infrastructure to mine on Mars, we'd still not have the resources to get the minerals off Mars. Asteroid mining would be a lot easier -- and we'd probably be better off using robots for that, anyway.

    How long would a Martian colony survive if life one Earth were wiped out? How many centuries would it take to make Mars a viable biosphere for terrestrial life? Given the gravity problem, would it *ever* really be a viable biosphere for complex terrestrial life?

  • Why not? (Score:3, Funny)

    by yoshi_mon (172895) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @08:54PM (#34250776)

    I'm single, I'm highly technical, I love the idea of space exploration, I write and think it would be great tale to tell, I am physically fit, I have no real ties to any serious type of job that if I left would cause a company/world to end, in fact the only thing that I'd have to give up would be beer.

    Mmmmmmm, beer. But for Mars I'd give up beer. I'm not saying I like the idea of giving up beer but dammit, for Mars...I'd give up beer. (Oh and my life.)

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      You wouldn't have to give up beer. All you need is sugar and yeast. There will have to be plenty of sugar available to the colonists, and you don't have to go much farther than your crotch for yeast. Mmm... crotch beer...

      Who knows, after a couple of centuries of fiddling with it, your original Martian Crotch beer might be considered among the finest beers in the known universe!

      • by yoshi_mon (172895)

        You wouldn't have to give up beer. All you need is sugar and yeast.

        Somehow I don't think a still will be part of the equipment that they would let me take. Unless I do it M.A.S.H. Hawkeye style made out of medical equipment...

        That's it, I'm going to Mars.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          You wouldn't have to give up beer. All you need is sugar and yeast.

          Somehow I don't think a still will be part of the equipment that they would let me take. Unless I do it M.A.S.H. Hawkeye style made out of medical equipment...

          You don't need a still to make beer. Just some kegs and a source of heat.

          And water. Just think, you could make beer with water that has never passed through the digestive system of any other lifeform....

  • Options broken down (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Seismologist (617169) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @09:06PM (#34250852)

    Yes, even if I would die on impact

    This option doesn't make sense. The engineers/mission controllers will do everything to ensure a higher probability of surviving than this.

    Yes, if we had a 50% chance of surviving a year

    See above.

    Yes, if we had a 50% chance of surviving 5 years

    See above.

    Yes, if we had a 50% chance of surviving 10 years

    This may not be too unreasonable, provided there is actually a plan in place to resupply and/or bring the astronaut back to earth within 5 years or less on the premise that we'll set you off to Mars right now, and pick you up later wen we get our better spacecraft/technology finalized. If more than 5 years passes, well, you may be screwed by a probability exceeding 50% if we can't get the technology to bring you back.

    No way, round trip only

    This would be the logical option, but the hardest to attain of them all.

    No way, flying is for the birds

    Your standard, albeit stupid, nonsensical Slashdot option.

    I'd vote yes in a poll but chicken out later

    I voted for this as the majority has as well. I find myself always voting for the option with the highest probability of votes. This one was easy, because it is also the easiest to identify with on many levels.

    Stay away from my world, hoo-man.

    Occasionally, we are faced with two nonsensical options in Slashdot polls.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      I'd vote yes in a poll but chicken out later

      I voted for this as the majority has as well.

      It may be the most popular option but 23% as it stands right now is hardly a majority. Not even half of it!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dunkelfalke (91624)

      The first option does make sense for those who don't see a reason to live but are too much cowards for a suicide.

  • by Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @09:23PM (#34250968)
    Since the "no way" vote is only getting 7%, we could send the other 93% of you on your way ("yes, round-trippers - there will [not] be a return trip" and "sorry, chickens, you voted YES, now get on the ship!"). Imagine what a tranquil place earth would be after that. Until we all died from unsanitary phone receivers...
    • by robot256 (1635039)
      Except according to this poll, it wouldn't be telephone sanitizers. It would be sysadmins and developers, which could be a far bigger problem. Can you imagine a bunch of business majors running a commerce website thirty years from now without ever upgrading the back-end? It would be like living in a world full of alien technology.
    • by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2 AT gdargaud DOT net> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @03:00AM (#34252146) Homepage

      Since the "no way" vote is only getting 7%, we could send the other 93% of you on your way

      I've done several missions to Antarctica [gdargaud.net] and when I talk with people they are all excited: "I want to go to". But then at the time of actually signing up (or more rarely getting off the ship), they are all thinking about one year away from family, with shitty internet connection, cold, no fresh food, etc... And they bail. Antarctic programs have a hard time finding qualified applicants. I'd expect a one-way Mars program would be a lot worse...

  • Can I buy one of those one-way tickets for somebody else?
    I know several people I would be happy to send to Mars.
  • I'm just too fixed in my career path to be an effective astronaut. I'm specialized in C++, computer graphics, game theory, creative writing, linguistics, music theory, and obscure Star Wars trivia - not exactly things you'd need on Mars. Add a physique better suited for 14-hour sessions in front of a monitor than for exploring and heavy lifting, and I'd probably be the cause of us dying within a decade.

    That being said, had I known we would be contemplating a Mars colony in a decade, I would have trained mu
  • I voted for the 50% survival 10 years option. But I would have to wait for my kids to grow up first. Having said that, I think it likely my children will have grandchildren of their own before such a trip is attempted. So, I have a long wait...
  • A couple of gay astronauts, over 60, and on death row.

    • by robot256 (1635039)
      By the time we find subjects who meet that criteria, we might just have the technology to pull it off!
  • by jomama717 (779243) <jomama717@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @10:17PM (#34251184) Journal
    There should only be 3 options:
    • Yes, no matter what
    • Yes in poll, chicken out later
    • No way

    The kinds of people that actually do this stuff aren't the kind of people to nitpick about probability of survival (let alone guarantees), they just do it. Watch this [guardian.co.uk] a few times and really think about what is going on...truly awe inspiring, superhuman.

  • Before I became a parent I would have said yes, and its possible that when my son is grown up I would would go for it, but for the next ten years or so the answer has to be no.

    BTW Rocheworld by Robert Forward (aka Flight of the Dragonfly) is a great book about this kind of one way mission scenario.

  • Send our violent criminal there. The ones that don't survive will make good fertilizer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DaveAtFraud (460127)

      Send our violent criminal there. The ones that don't survive will make good fertilizer.

      Nah. Send politicians. Use all the hot air they spout to provide a warm atmosphere. Once that's accomplished, the rest of us can make the trip and find a reasonably hospitable environment waiting for us. Other than a warm atmosphere, the politicians won't accomplish much of anything and all of their B.S. will provide a reasonable growth media.

      We get rid of our politicians and we terraform Mars in one easy step.

      Cheers,
      Dave

  • Yeah, right (Score:3, Funny)

    by PPH (736903) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @11:13PM (#34251448)

    Ask the question before sending humans up. But did anyone think to ask Spirit or Opportunity for their thoughts before launching them?

  • We should send animals to the Moon and possibly to Mars for initial colonization. They are less prone to boredom and psychological games than we are and can reproduce much more quickly, plus exist on a simple diet of the bare essential nutrients. Generations of animals could live and die before we even send the first person to live in space permanently.

    We could make real progress on life support systems, harvesting local resources, manned support missions, and so on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by robot256 (1635039)
      If you're working your way up the food chain, I think you better start with simple bacteria and maybe plants. The animals come a good deal later.
  • Missing option (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thomasje (709120) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @01:42AM (#34251954)
    I prefer a planet with an atmosphere that I can actually breathe. As in, being able to open a window, or walk out the front door without having to put on a spacesuit.
    But all of you who voted for the first five options, go ahead and enjoy.
  • Yes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stargoat (658863) * <stargoat@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @10:26AM (#34254636) Journal

    Absolutely yes. Yes yes yes a thousand times yes. Yes with only a 10% chance of survival, yes.

    Remember that during the second winter at Jamestown, of the 500 colonists, only 60 survived. [wikipedia.org] But they made it and then they thrived.

    Many early colonies suffered complete death [wikipedia.org] or darn close. [wikipedia.org] But they kept going.

    As for the length of the voyage, it's a pittance compared to the whaling voyages of the 19th century where men would not see shores for over a year at a time or the naval explorations such as Cook's.

    We as a society need to stop mollycoddling ourselves and get out there. It's time to explore and plant our feet on new ground.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shadmere (1158007)
      This is the best thing anyone's posted so far. The universe is a hard place, and sometimes we can't afford to wait on a method to reach 99% survivability. Of course, this is also the modern world. We do not want to go back to indentured servants and slaves. So don't. Don't send anyone who doesn't want to go. Make sure they know the risks. Make sure they're trained well. Make sure they understand what they're going to be expected to do, and make sure they understand the difficulty involved. Then send
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pavera (320634)

      Probably the best comment on a slashdot poll ever! Thanks for putting this in perspective a little bit. I selected "Yes but I'd chicken out" but now that I read your post I'm like "damn I'm such a pussy, that would be fun!"

      Seriously, when did the human race decide that surviving was more important than thriving? If people in the 15th and 16th century thought like we do today, no way anyone even gets on a boat. Back then boats sank all the time, I don't have stats, but I bet there was at least a 20% chan

    • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by courteaudotbiz (1191083) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @02:54PM (#34259232) Homepage
      This is really a great comment with which I totally agree. But do you imagine what the lines would look like in the medias?

      "The X space agency is sending astronauts to their death!" (WSJ)

      "Most probably a one way trip" (CNN)

      This is why we have such a hard time these days to do great things. We no more want to afford the casualties they did some hundred years ago to take great steps for humanity such as discovering our planet. Now we want to discover our solar system, and we find it "shocking" that we may sacrifice one, two or three lives for the advancement of science and our species?

      I think we are just being cowards, both politically and socially. If we take no risks, we won't lose anything. But what will we earn staying where we are?
  • by Nadaka (224565) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:53PM (#34262866)

    ...was an attractive young woman and one of my responsibilities was to "provide seed material" for the next generation of explorers.

  • Only if... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Issarlk (1429361) on Friday November 19, 2010 @10:17AM (#34281696)
    ...we go there with women who have been "selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature. ". Being a /. reader, being needed to populate Mars is probably the only way I'll ever get laid.
  • by horza (87255) on Friday November 19, 2010 @01:15PM (#34283582) Homepage

    They have the billions needed to create a craft to take a crew to Mars and back, but found the cost of licensing enough music and video to keep the crew entertained during the journey prohibitive.

    Phillip.

Is your job running? You'd better go catch it!

 



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