Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mission to Mars

In preparation for a future trip to the planet Mars, leading scientists in the former Soviet Union have begun to study the effects of a long-term space voyage on a small group of people. Any trip to Mars, and return, is expected to take from one and a half to two years, and the astronauts involved would have to stay on their ‘A’ game the entire time. Oh, and they probably shouldn’t kill one another either.

The Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems is looking for a group of six people to spend up to 700 days together in an area equal to nine 60-cubic-metre truck containers. This space will consist of a common living area, individual bedrooms, a bathroom, a command module and a fitness room. No contact would be allowed with the outside world except through “mission control” and all communications would be delayed as though the participants were actually on a real trip to Mars. Food would be the same as served on the International Space Station with treats on special days. No drinkers or smokers need apply.

The composition of the crew (sexually speaking) has yet to be decided and this is pretty important since, as one can imagine, man to woman percentages are critical. In 1998 – 1999 a similar experiment had a “crew” of seven males and one female. It wasn’t long before the Russian members of the “crew” were beating the snot out of one another and it got so tense that the sole Japanese crewmember hid all the knives in the habitat. At one point the Russian Commander forcibly French-kissed the Canadian crewmember (the woman), who then locker herself in her cabin. Russian officials said that this sort of behaviour was typical of Russians, and everybody else should put up with it or get out, which would be kind of tricky on a real trip to Mars, but there you go. The Russian officials also said that it was tacky to complain in public.

Curiously enough it is the above situation that suggests (to me) an easy solution to any trip to Mars. I submit that the first crew should be all male and all Russian. Forget about the no smoking or drinking rule and provide each crewmember with a two-year supply of smokes and there should be a communal vodka swimming-pool for the enjoyment of the entire crew (I bet nobody pees in that pool, at first). Knives and other edged weapons should be stashed all over the ship and rivalries encouraged. Now we got a party happening.

At first glance I’m sure our friends to the south (the USA) would not want to be part of this thing, and rightfully so. Who wants to spend billions of relatively valuable US dollars to see some ratty Russian flag being the first flag raised on Mars without Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan being involved in some way? So how about this: what say camera are placed all over the ship and it is billed and broadcast as the first interplanetary “reality” TV-show? I’m pretty sure I’d tune in every week to watch a bunch of drunk Russians smoking and puking all over the place as they beat the living daylights out of one another. And generally speaking I don’t even like “reality” TV (unless it’s Holmes On Homes or the Trailer Park Boys).

Now here’s the deal: I’m totally willing to sell this idea to the highest bidder for $1000000 cash. To sweeten the pot I’m willing to take Canadian money! That’s Canadian money, not Canadian Tire® money. It’ll be $2000000 if you want to pay in Canadian Tire money. Any interested party’s can reach me through the comments section of this very blog.

Anyway… Humouroceros

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