Sign Me Up!

One ticket for the fast train to Loopyland, please:

The European Space Agency (Esa) is seeking volunteers for a simulated human trip to Mars, in which six crew spend 17 months in an isolation tank. …The 500-day duration is close to the minimum estimated timescale needed for a human trip to the Red Planet.

…Once the hatches are closed, the crew’s only contact with the outside world is a radio link to “Earth” with a realistic delay of many minutes. …The Earthbound astronauts will have to deal with simulated emergencies and perhaps even real ones. But, while Esa says it will do nothing that puts the lives of the simulation crew at unnecessary risk, officials running the experiment have made it clear they would need a convincing reason to let someone out of the modules once the experiment had begun.

In all seriousness, if Mr. Shakes and I did something like that together, we’d be as happy as two pigs in shit. As long as we could bring along Scrabble and condoms.

[H/T to Christopher Tassava: “I predict this experiment ends in a homicide.” Ha.]


Filed under 01_shakespeares_sister

11 responses to “Sign Me Up!

  1. This is SOOOO cool that someone else than NASA is thinking about our future in space and exploration!!! Bloody marvellous 🙂

    I don’t think I would do the volunteer thing for this though … I could, but after having my life on hold and living in the capsule called ‘grad school’ for so many years, I’m not eager to repeat such in another fashion.

    But this is so the kind of science we need to be doing as we push towards our future *big grin*

  2. Mr. Shakes


    Totally. You rule.

  3. I’m game, so long as I can actually go to Mars too.

  4. I’d do it, but I wouldn’t completely trust the results of this experiment. I’d have to think that the knowledge that you’re on earth and could actually get out of the thing if it became medically necessary would have a different effect on your mental state than being in space with nowhere to go. And on the flip side, the excitement of being headed to Mars would have an effect different from the knowledge that you’re part of an experiment.

  5. I’m with you Mel. Hell, SWMBO and I would love it. 17 months of not having to deal with the shitheads of this world seems more like a trip to paradise more than just Mars. Where can we sign up? A good selection of red wine for me and a zillion crossword puzzles for her and we’re away!

  6. Do you think they could use their simulated transmissions to have some pizza and other good take-away delivered to their tank?

  7. Thing is after a couple of months I reckon just out of boredom, someone would get pregnant. Then that would be a real emergency to deal with. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE’S NO EPIDURAL IN HERE? LET ME OUT!!!!”.

  8. Man, I would get so much writing done. Also, I would go nuts. But I’d have five books to show for it.

  9. The interesting thing is that there is no way we can expect the group of people selected to go 17 months with no sex. So, unless you pick an all-gay crew (which I am completely cool with mind you, would make it a seriously cool trip), you’re going to HAVE to pay for contraception. Out of goverment funds no less.

    While I am sure the EU would be fine (though it would be interesting to watch the gray matter pop in the Vatican), I’d love to see how that would go over here 🙂

  10. Kate217

    But think of teh baybeez!!!!!

    Make sure that someone who loves Matilda and Olivia as much as you do is available for the duration.

  11. I agree with Cruella. 17 months in a tank, and you’re depending on condoms? Uh-uh. Vasectomy time.

    Unless you do something else with the condoms, in which case, I don’t wanna hear about it.

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