Your thoughts: Will Mars trip break a relationship?
This is an illustration of the envisioned Inspiration Mars Foundation space capsule, which would launch in 2018.
March 5th, 2013
04:57 PM ET

Your thoughts: Will Mars trip break a relationship?

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....

Jason Hanson
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:

Kathy Smith
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!

Jen FiftiEight
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.

Harvey Wallbanger
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

Christopher Andrews
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.

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Filed under: In Space • Mars • Voices
soundoff (56 Responses)
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  4. teen talk

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    March 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  5. Please

    Can we sent Honey boo boo and her mom Please?

    March 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  6. wg2411

    My wife makes me sleep in the next county everytime I load my Subway sandwich with hot peppers, don't know how that would work out.

    March 11, 2013 at 12:25 am |
  7. Grandpa RD

    Not my wife... I'd take my cat Mikey instead. The worst problem would be keeping the kitty litter in the box in zero G.

    March 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  8. Kalumba

    The might end up killing each other. And what happens if one of them dies one month into space? Say from natural causes? Hmmm?

    March 10, 2013 at 12:49 am |
  9. enkisee

    Easy cheezy. My wife and I work together, went to school together full-time for 4 years(I mean every single class we were sitting next to each other), go on adventures together, almost always hang out just us alone and it's been a blast! Been together 7 years. There have been challenges but that's easy to remedy, it's called mutual commitment. There comes a point that as long you both want to be with each other the arguments don't matter and you both know it. Arguments are just for arguments sake. That is unless you care deeply about the content of the argument. In my experience it has been outside factors that have been most challenging. We'd go to Mars too! Not too happy about the osteoporosis though.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  10. Robin Burns

    It would depend entirely on the couple, which is why they would be carefully vetted and hopefully practice their solitude more than once in advance! I'm all for the trip, just bring back lots of photos.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
  11. piranha

    This can't happen on younger couple, what if she's on her period, there's nowhere for the husband to go hide when she turns into the "Alien". Over 50 and you both need a lot of meds. I don't think this is even feasible for humans. Not yet anyway. Send a monkey or a chicken, worse thing that could happen is when you open the hatch when they return, whoa, load of hatch lings.

    March 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  12. ksj

    Not a good idea. Close relationship affect mission integrity. That's why FBI uses single man and woman. They are more focused and dedicated.

    March 7, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • enkisee

      c'mon, two single fbi agents alone on stakeouts?

      March 8, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
  13. Rico53

    We have learned alot about ourselves exploring space ,but under the current financial burden our country is in, is it worth the cost to send humans to Mars at this time ?

    March 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  14. theyoungscientist

    Remember, the couple that would travel on this mission would be dedicated passionate SCIENTISTS that truely love what they do and believe in. To share in an experience not just for the betterment of mankind and the scientific community, but also to prove that the connection between two individuals is an unbreakable bond. They're not going to send a TLC Walmart couple into space!

    March 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  15. gimlimanitoba

    It sounds a lot like Incarceration to me, but as a young man I did a few years in the Pen. In the pen you can take two inmates who get along great, house them together, and after about a month they want to kill each other. I would personally be to scared to get any sleep if my wife and I had to double bunk like that! in an RV sized Cell in space! ..I'd sleep with one eye open.

    March 7, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  16. T

    No way can this work ! Just a couple alone ? They'll go nuts !

    Also, You need MORE than 2 people on this trip – you'll need a medical doctor and an engineer at least, in case of emergencies on the ship to Mars. And have on stock, decades of movies / tv shows and games and exercise machines in the off hours to keep them from going crazy.

    I would wait until technology gets a little better than slingshot method and something that can propel a ship faster to shorten the travel time and have the capability of artificial gravity on the ship plus also able to launch a small shuttle from the main ship (Dream Chaser shuttle) w/ VTOL to land on Mars.

    Hope it'll still happen in my lifetime...

    March 7, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  17. Buck Rogers

    Since NASA obviously fakes everything in order to promote astro-evolution and the heliocentric myth, then a trip to Mars should be no problem for a married couple 'demonstrating' said voyage within an earthly studio...

    March 7, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • enkisee

      I appreciate your willingness to seek knowledge from esoteric sources but you should be more discriminating.

      I would love to view Venus on a dark night when it is in opposition. When is Venus in opposition to the sun?
      If the heliocentric model is wrong you should be able to give me an answer.

      March 8, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  18. Chet

    It would be a perfect flight for the wife and I – 44yrs together and never an argument. As long as I could bring my radio equipment and she her knitting – no problem

    March 7, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  19. Jack

    If the trip doesn't include a woman, who would ask for directions? Who would clean the toilet?

    March 7, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  20. MrMega

    I can see it now... a week or so into the trip and the woman would start in, "How much longer is it?" "Are we almost there?" "I bet you won't ever bother to stop and ask for directions!!"

    March 7, 2013 at 4:08 am |
  21. Nicholas Smith

    Every Pilot's wet dream: A Chance To Join The Million Mile High Club.

    March 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
  22. Calvin Hobbes

    The odds may be better if the age of the couple was young, say 15 or 16. So figure four or five years out of their lives, they come back in their early twenties with a whole life to look forward to.

    March 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Probably

      If my wife and I were onboard there would be an accident after about 72 hours and she would have opened the wrong door and stepped out, unfortunately without her suit...

      March 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
      • RRWExpat

        Accident???? Sure...

        March 7, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  23. Ben

    Pull all our teeth and give us some false ones ( a cavity or toothache would be a problem a few million miles from the dentist) a video and music library, some good books a camera and window to look out and lock us up , we already do this in our 38" RV . Not a problem. We have been together for 25 years so there is not much fight left in us;) as long as she has access to facebook the trip would be a breeze! A t least the kids would not be able to find us....

    March 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Only that big?

      I think you meant 38', not 38"... unless you both are REALLY, REALLY short lol

      March 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
  24. jj

    One of the two should be a doctor

    March 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  25. Jeff

    What would be hilarious is...

    They better also do a background on the woman to make sure she doesn't try to jump out of the car when there is an argument. I'd like to see her jump out then!!!

    And as I said on an earlier post about this news story when it first came out. They won't make it back anyways.

    March 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  26. Bob C

    I don't know about my relationship, but you can send my Ex.

    March 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  27. mickmartn

    I am very Disgusted to have to constantly read 'a married couple' – a man and a woman... when in EUROPE almost a billion people – find that phrase an abomination.

    A couple is a couple and to be honest, I could more easily get along in close quarter's with my LIFE Partner/Husband for 2 or 5 or Rest of our Lives, than any Hetty couple could ever agree/get along.
    Put us to the test, a gay couple is far more stable and enduring than any hetty couple any day of week, month, year, decade, or century!

    March 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Wes Scott

      And pregnancy would not be an issue, either!

      March 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm |

      you missing the point of the mission which is to inspire all humanity. That is the reason for 1 man 1 woman. If they sent all males as you want, there's no inspiration for 1/2 of humanity(women). now please quit cry foul cause they wont discriminate as you'd like them to.

      March 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Shalisa

      Boo Hoo. I'm single and I have had long term relationships outside of marriage, but marriage has been the fundamental family unit in almost every culture for tens of thousands of years.

      March 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Beefburger

      So what you are trying to say is that the greater majority of Europe is gay....?

      March 7, 2013 at 4:21 am |
    • Beefburger

      I am sorry to say that your claim is false, the numbers say male gay "marriages" tend to not last as long as straights. Female gay "marriages" are avout the same.

      March 7, 2013 at 4:24 am |
    • Please

      Completely agree! A couple is a couple, is a couple.

      March 12, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
  28. Jim P

    I'll send my wife.

    March 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  29. Bugsy

    Headline: "Could you be dumped on way to Mars?"
    Yes "dumped" is the correct term to use. Because being dumped en route to Mars is the first thing on the minds of all our unmarried couples. Do I have to spell it out for you? Sending 1 couple isn't enough. We need to send groups of people in order to make a reality show and put it TrashTV. Funding=ads, need the ads.

    March 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  30. Daniel

    So, my boss decided to show up for work today. Let's see if she actually works.

    March 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  31. Jude Brummett

    I'd go, but I'm only 14 and I'm definitely not married.

    March 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  32. Rick Springfield

    The two need to be neutered before the flight. You absolutely don't want the possibility of conception happening in space. It would be better to send an older couple, like 55 or so. They have lived plenty of life at that juncture and a deadly accident happening would be much less impacting on their and other lives. The other benefit is a reduced metabolism. Send a young 20 year old couple into space and you have to double the provisions. An older couple would have half the caloric needs as a younger couple. Send an older scientific couple because they would have the years of experience to handle situations that would require an immediate decision not possible in space. A younger couple would have to send back a message asking what to do. By the time the reply made it back, they could be blown to cosmic dust.

    March 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  33. Keystar

    The risk of Pandorum is just too great...

    March 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
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    March 6, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  35. jean

    If we dont get along...welll there is nowhere to go,,, divorce by radio?..dont think so...have to make due and reconcile!

    March 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  36. jean

    If I go for 600 days better with my girlfriend than a total stranger....dont you agree...

    March 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Harold

      Trust me, after 30 days that stranger would no longer be a stranger.

      March 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  37. fiftyfive55

    Claustriphobia occorring on earth and in space is two completely different things since on earth you could just step out while in space you can't.If they want a study on isolation then one has no further to look than solitary confinement in prisons to find out what happens to those locked in.

    March 6, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  38. more2bits

    Well if Comet C2013/A1 impacts Mars on October 19th it will all be a moot point. In that case there will be no trips.

    March 6, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Sciguy73

      Do you think Mars has never been hit before?

      March 6, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Lee

      If Mars got hit by a comet (probably has before), it would do just fine. Just another crater there. It would actually be a very interesting one, as being so fresh, erosion & exposure to the elements would not be present. A prime candidate for the geological exploration of the planet.

      March 7, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  39. professor

    Wes, a big part of this proposal is to better understand the social aspect and the interaction between 2 humans inside a cramped space ship for months at a time. How do we manage conflicts? How do we help them interact positively? How do we keep people alive and relatively healthy- physically, mentally, and socially during the trip. A solitary trip does not help us or contribute as much. Sorry.

    March 6, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • svann

      Russia did an experiment to see how people would behave on a mars trip. See mars-500. That was with 5 volunteers though. It could be different with just 2.

      March 6, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  40. Wes

    I have made repeated attempts to contribute to this line of inquiry with little enthusiastic response. I don't care if I take a partner, wife, dog, or anyone: I prefer none. I will construct a companion if necessary. Since I am paralyzed here and now, I just want to get off this planet. I don't really care any longer if I go to Mars, just send me into space: preferably alone. I would prefer the isolated and monastic life in deep space to the noise that constantly permeates society here. In space you can hear no one scream, I can accept that. Wife? some assembly required, batteries not included. Some music would be tolerable.

    March 6, 2013 at 7:52 am |


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