It was fun reading the responses to our recent article about the relationship issues surrounding a proposed mission to Mars, which the Inspiration Mars Foundation is aiming to launch in 2018.
The organization has said it wants to send a man and a woman on the 501-day voyage in order to "represent humanity," and that potentially this would be a married couple. Some readers had humorous takes on why this would not be a good idea. Here are some quotes from the comments:
The capsule will have to seat three ... 501 days with that much togetherness and they will need a divorce attorney.
My marriage couldn't have survived sharing a Mars candy bar....
I applaud any couple that could manage this. I love my wife more than anything, but God help me... she would drive me absolutely insane on a trip this long no matter how confined the space is (and I'm sure I'd do the same to her).
Others were all for it, even seeing it as a romantic experience:
My husband and I would LOVE to get the chance to go. He is already my entire universe. It would be wonderful to experience the trip together!
This would be easy for my husband and me. Since June 2009, other than eight days he was in the hospital for surgery and five weeks I was away for work, we have spent every single day/night together...we both work from home. We both also love space and would love love LOVE this chance. So long as we are still able to watch football and golf, this would be a piece of cake!
Clint, commenting on the original story about the Inspiration Mars announcement, wrote:
My wife and I are both 46. In 2018 that would make us 51. Both very fit and 51 is still a very competent age. Both children already grown and on their own. Most likely this is a suicide mission and my wife and I have both discussed not wanting to ever be a pair of old, infirm invalids. Worst case: Go out with style while giving back to the world. Best case: Make it home alive. It's easy to put decades of movies, shows, music and games on iPads. That along with a camera and a lead-lined box for both to protect from radiation and we're good.
Some questioned the value and practicality of the mission:
I don't see the point. If this is just to see if we can I don't see the need. It's highly probable we could pull it off but if we do so what? Why not wait until we actually have something to do on Mars and the thruster technology can get us there without this primitive slingshot mess. We are talking millions if not billions to fly by a barren planet and really gain no additional scientific knowledge. This is one expensive and essentially pointless test drive.
My major concern would be the lack of medical care for almost two years should something go wrong. Something normally easily treated could prove fatal.
We also had some ideas about entertainment on the voyage:
I would be able to do it...alone...with some good Floyd playing and other good music ... and my camera and a journal and pen. <3
Do I have to take my wife? Why does it have to be two people? Give me an open stream to the Internet (lag would be fun) and a lot of Mountain Dew and I am good to go.
Of course, no one really knows what would happen to two people locked in an RV-sized space capsule leaving Earth for 501 days; it's never been tried.
Michael Horoda wrote on the story about the announcement:
If this guy and his wife want to do this for humanity, then graciously accept the offer. These people obviously are mature, thinking individuals. If they are successful then they will have gone where no man, woman or married couple has gone before. And believe me, if they wrote a book about handling marriage issues after their successful return, I would buy it because they would really know what they are talking about. Contrast that to the self-annointed relationship experts from Mars and Venus.