Friday, January 06, 2006

Returning to Prague - Czech Train (Spring 2003)

Ah, the joys of train travel.

So, I was thinking today about the prospect of sending men to mars (or women, but if they're really from Venus as a popular and ridiculous book would have us believe, maybe that gender would be more comfortable on a mission to their own planet), and I have decided that our (NASA's) focus is not in the right place. The space program has been paralyzed by the thought that these men (or women, whatever) have to come back. Everyone knows this would be entirely too complicated to work.

However, it's a simple task to stock a big cylinder with some exercise equipment and enough food to keep somebody alive for the 6-month journey. So, we man (or woman) our mission with adventurous individuals who only have 6 months to live. They get the honor of being the brave souls who first set foot on mars, and can live out the last of their days with that knowledge intact. They can take their 60 gig mp3 players along and fill them with books on tape to keep them entertained while drifting through space. Once they arrive, they can wander around for a while and document whatever NASA wants documented, and then die as heros.

There's no need to spend millions on years and years of astronaut instruction. Just build the rocket, get some volunteers, and stick them on there with some training manuals. There will be time for education in space. People learn better and faster in a hands-on environment anyway.

Ethical, schmethical. If they fill out an informed consent that's been approved by the institutional review board, it's all fair game in the name of scientific exploration. Could someone please make sure my idea makes it to the right people at NASA? I'd like to see this happen within my lifetime.

I'd like to point out that I'm not purposefully being insensitive to the terminally ill. I truly believe there are many who would jump at a chance like this, and I'm by no means suggesting we should ship all the terminally ill off to another planet.


Blogger Rebecca said...


Friday, January 06, 2006  
Blogger PT4KIDS said...

Hi renaissance guy!
I just love to read your blogs - nice break from school, and you always make me laugh!!! IRB approval!!!!! LOL!

See you monday.

Saturday, January 07, 2006  
Blogger amanda said...

Wow, I have to give you a four thumbs up for being a prolific blogger. I realize I'm commenting on a post that's hopelessly outdated, but I couldn't let this one go by without a "bit o'wisdom."

My apologies, what follows is likely not to be all that wise.

I love this picture of Scott! It really epitomizes the whole train experience, doesn't it?

And just to clarify any possible confusion, I do realize that I couldn't actually give you four thumbs up, since I only have two thumbs; I only want to show you I approve twice as much as is standard.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006  
Blogger An Enlightened Fellow said...

Feel free to comment on whatever post you'd like, I'll get the message even if nobody else does. And thanks for all your thumbs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006  
Blogger Michael said...

Hmmmmmmmmmm. Excellent idea. Perhaps instead of terminally ill people, we stock it up with people who have been given the death penalty, or jail for life. Of course, they'd have to go through screening and consent to it as well, but I think starting it out like Australia was started might not be such a bad idea.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006  
Blogger An Enlightened Fellow said...

Hmm, I like the way you think. Brilliant!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006  

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