Assignment #2 Week of February 16

Dear Division 16

You may have heard about the plan afoot to send regular people to Mars in 2024.  People around the world are applying to be aboard this flight and 6 Canadians have been shortlisted to date.  This is being undertaken by a non-profit company and you can read more about it on that company’s website:

http://www.mars-one.com/

There are many concerns being raised about this proposed one-way trip to Mars (the passengers would be expected to start a community on Mars and not to return to Earth).

One article that addresses concerns about the Mars-One flight can be found here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/mars-one-plan-has-potentially-deadly-flaws-scientists-say-1.2803870  You can find links to related stories on the left hand side of this page.

For your blog assignment this week, take a look at the Mars One webpage and then read the second article on the CBC website.  If you are interested, or need more information, please follow the other links within that article or on the left hand side of the page, then answer ONE of the following questions:

1. Do you think it is ethical or fair to ask everyday people (not astronauts) to undertake this flight without having experience, knowledge or training  about what conditions they will encounter when they arrive? Why or why not?

2. In the past, space travel has been conducted and funded by government.  Do you think projects like this should be funded by private individuals or companies?  Does this create any problems?

3. Do you believe the information provided on the Mars One website?  Why or why not?

42 comments

  1. coolschoolscout

    #1. I think that it is absolutely dumb, to ask civilians from no astronaut training, to go to Mars for these reasons.
    No 1. I don’t know what I would do in that situation. I would have no clue what to do! No 2. What if something went wrong on the flight? What if the person in that situation would feel pressured to join? At least the astronauts that go through training understand the risks and know what to do if something went wrong. No 3. It’s OK to ask a person a favour, but going to Mars seems way too much. What if that person was to young to understand what could go wrong?
    I think that the idea of living on another planet could be fascinating, but I don’t think we should risk it until we are completely certain that nothing could go wrong.

    • dickensdiv16

      coolschoolscout, does it reassure you that the civilians are all volunteers? What kind of training would the civilians need to make you feel comfortable with their participation?

  2. The awesomest

    1. I don’t think it is okay to send people to mars especially if it is only a one way trip. If they were astronauts that had experience with the climates of other planets then I think it would be fine. Even though they are volunteers I still don’t think that it is okay to send anyone without experience to another planet until we are positive that nothing could go wrong.

  3. Scarletcat

    #1 In don’t think that everyday people like you and me should be going to Mars. Usually astronaughts would have years of practise and would come back to earth. Things could for sure go wrong , like what if something malfunctions in the rocket ship on their way to Mars. Or if they were unable to grow food on Mars, and earth couldn’t get food to them and they starved to death. Also some of the people going to Mars are pretty young, what If they get homesick and want to go see their friends and family, because there is no turning back. Once you make that decision to go on that trip you can’t come home again. I think that the 100 people that may go to Mars should do lots of training on what it’s going to be like and will have to really axept the fact that they won’t be able to come back, it’s a one way ticket. They also should get lots of training in what to do in emergencies. I would never go to Mars until they got more information about it and more certainty that it will go as planned.

    • dickensdiv16

      Scarletcat, I was surprised by how young some of the applicants were, and also how old some were! I also wondered about whether people could ever really make an informed decision about this kind of thing, given how uncertain the outcome of the trip is at this point!

  4. PointyHedgeHog11

    I think it is fair to ask people to go to Mars because it was their decision to do so . They will probably get training because if you have no training the mission will fail, so they will probably get training. Nobody knows what conditions they would encounter on Mars but the scientists on earth are probably thinking of all the possibilities of what could be on mars . There was actually a group of civilians who went to the space station . They went up in a rocket call the Challenger. Unfortunately there was a crack or malfunction with the rocket which cause the disaster. Everybody on the rocket died. We’ll never be sure what we will find on different planets if were afraid to go to them.I think this is a very interesting idea ,that will have a lot of controversy surrounding it.

    • dickensdiv16

      PointyHedgehog11, it sounds like you’ve thought of some good historical examples of challenging space flights, and you’re right, many of the most important scientific advancements require risk on the part of someone. I suspect you’re right that there will be some training, but I agree with CheesemanABC123 that we don’t know much about what training would be required at this point!

  5. reader

    1) personally I don’t think that this is a good idea, so many people are risking there lives to see space from a first person perspective and it’s also not safe to ask untrained and inexperienced people to go up to space for 68 days it’s not safe and it’s very dangerous.

  6. THE_MOST _AWESOME _PERSON3710

    #1 I do not think that it is very fair to ask people to go out in space with no experience at all and then they will just die in 68 days. Even if it is there choice it’s a one way trip. With astrnots its fine because they are tranied and have probily/ hopefully been out in space and they new what they were getting into when they became astrnots.

  7. petrinied4000

    #1
    I think it is okay to ask people to go as long as those people have a choice and they know very well what they are getting into. They have to know what it will be like on the space ship and they will have to understand that they are never coming home. If they still want to come then I think they can. At first most people probably won’t want to come but over time more people will want to come and then everyone else will realize what’s going on and they will come as well.

    • dickensdiv16

      petrinied4000 you always have a unique point of view. Do you think it’s possible to have enough information to make a choice this big? Do you anticipate that lots of people will want to come during your lifetime?

  8. Monster Meatball

    1) I think that either trained astronauts should first undertake the journey to see what things will need to be changed or upgraded or just stopped.That or the mars one crew should have at least half their crew members trained as astronauts.

  9. Cheeseman ABC 123

    #1. I don’t think that it is okay to ask regular people to go into space because people who want to be astronauts will have more experience and we don’t even know if we are able to survive and be safe with only the technology that we have today . I also think that it is n’t right to send people who are like 10- 17 because you wont have learned everything you need to know in life . if the people don’t know everything they need to know about living in different climates and different worlds. I don’t think it should just be one way I think it should be a two way ride just in case you are there on Mars and you don’t want to live a weird life on Mars and want to live a regular life back here on EARTH!!!.

  10. Aldwyn 2000

    #2. I think that it should not be funded by either wealthy individuals or privite company’s unless of course the individuals are very well involved in the project this goes for all privite company’s. I think that instead it should be funded by the public who hope to some day be a real part of the project.

  11. Subway2go

    1. I don’t think it is fair to ask regular people if they want to spend their life on Mars, because first of all, they aren’t trained to be an astronaut. Even though they probably will be trained, but they won’t be as experienced as the regular astronauts. Secondly, they have not tested this “trip” yet on of living creatures, the video explained that their trip could be as short as 68 days due to lack of oxygen. I understand that they are trying to save the human race, but can’t they ask willing, trained, experienced astronauts to do the job instead?

  12. Ginger

    I think that the Mars One project should be funded jointly by government and private money. It would benefit greatly due to lots of money from private organizations as well as greater oversight from the government. If it was only a private group funding the whole project they might not think enough about safety and too much about their own profit. If the government discovered a resource that might benefit humankind they would hopefully share it with the country while an individual might not.

    • dickensdiv16

      Ginger, thanks for responding to this question. Interesting point of view – safety is very important. What are the risks of an individual discovering a resource that they don’t share with humankind? Can you think of an example?

  13. NerdDurtle

    #1 I think it is dangerous to ask regular people that aren’t trained for these stuff because anything could happen to them.From reading the information from the website I think it is not fair at all to just let people that aren’t trained into mars.The reason I think they don’t want to sent astronauts up into mars because they are trained,could survive more longer and also used to the environment.

  14. Doctor pineapple

    #1 I think it is fair to ask these people to go to Mars for a few reasons. Firstly they are all volunteers who know the risks and dangers that come with this mission, secondly they are not entirely untrained as it said on the website “The astronauts will take part in an extensive training period to learn the special set of skills required for sustaining the community on Mars”. The article about the potential dangers of the mission only “suggests” that they as short as 68 eight days, which means it could be longer and it’s only a theory anyway. I think this mission is crucial for humans to take the next step in exploration and evolution, but first we have to make sure that there’s no more major risks involved…

    • dickensdiv16

      Doctor Pineapple, you’ve done a nice job here of explaining your opinion and you did a great job of using examples. It’s a great skill to include quotes from an article to support your position too! Thank you for reading the articles critically and developing your own point of view on the risks versus the benefits.

  15. who gets money

    I believe some of the information provided on the Mars One website, but not completely. For example, they are using existing technology that has been made by well known companies. The CBC article claimed that people would have to rely on technology that was not confirmed as safe. It may not be tested, but it does exist, and it is operational. Saying that it’s impossible might be a popular opinion that would make lots of people read other CBC articles. I don’t believe that the Mars One Website would lie directly, but they might over exaggerate their claims a bit. They would do this to reassure the candidates and investors that everything was going to plan. This is not something new, it happens every day. I believe that CBC is not being too truthful about their facts. I think this because the people who wrote the paper were relying on data given to the public, rather than the data that the Mars One company would have. In the end, I think that both articles are over-exaggerated to gain trust and views from the public.

    • dickensdiv16

      who gets money, you’ve done a nice job here of engaging critically with the content of the article. Your opinion that the newspapers have motives other than just reporting the news is an important part of reading news critically. What kind of information would be needed for you to accept the claims?

  16. balloongirl123

    1 I disagree because if one of the astronaut are not well trained they are a starter they will mess up and don’t know what to do in the rocket and sometimes the starters will press random buttons.

  17. Jr.fruitcake

    #1
    I don’t think that it is fair to send people to mars without full knowledge of what will meet them there. It seems like many of the applicants don’t know how much study went into the fact that the first human would suffocate in 68 days, that is really fast and you could tell the study was hardly just an estimate. I do agree with Hunter though because I think Its not a dead end just something we will have to go through before we can reach that far out with current technology. Its part of how our world works, we push until we burst the seem and then we keep going, I just don’t think we can burst the seem yet

  18. purplegiraffe47

    #1 😉
    I think it isn’t fair to send people to mars because they don’t completely know what will happen there.
    I think that if you are going to go to mars and never see your family and friends ever again that you should know exactly what you’re committing to including most likely dying in less than a year after you got to mars. I think that human kind needs to take a leap but maybe we should wait a little longer till we have slightly more advanced tech. so maybe we could find a way for people to live full lives (and not die in a year) ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  19. Mario2

    1. I Think That it is Not Fair to Make People Go to mars If they do not Want to. But If they really want to Go they can go as per their wish I think that To Board that Flight You have to have MINIMUM Knowledge About Surviving mars/ a different planet.
    2. I Think this project Should not be Funded by Private companies it should be funded by The people that want to go to Mars
    If the Government Pays It will not be Fair for the Canadian Tax payers! As all that will be funded by Tax payers and the government will not pay a single penny! and this project should be run and Payed under Private company’s If the tax payers do not Pay it will not Create problems as the people who are going are Going on their Own money and Will But if the Tax payers Pay then….. there will be Keyoss as many people think it is not worth it and they are paying for a Stupid thing. Wait Guess what will Happen If you are ready then the answer is It will create Public Protests!
    3. I Do not believe the information provided on the mars one Website because I would Like to know who is Going to Cover up all of those innocent deaths in Mars? Mars one is Totally INSANE! I understand if you want to see mars then go ahead but I think that there should be a Waiver that you are going on your Own risk.
    -MARIO2

  20. cool sketcher

    #3 I don”t believe the info on the mars one website because there were probably scientists involved in this operation they obviously would know that there is a high chance of death in this exploration plan. and thats why I don’t believe that info

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