As regular readers of this blog know, I’m a fan of space exploration. Despite all my bluster about small government and lower taxes, all my principles would go out the window if some politician announced s/he wanted to make Canada the first nation to colonize, say, Europa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_%28moon%29#Exploration). That said, you can count me out of being part of the Mayflower party that first sets up a colony on another planet.
A Nova Scotian hopes to be one of the first people on Mars: http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1133486-lower-sackville-man-applies-for-one-way-trip-to-mars
I’m not saying he’s crazy, but it would be a very rare individual who would be emotionally stable and intellectually robust, and yet also willing to risk a good chance of death just to live in a cramped habitat for years until death finds him.
Those first forays into settling the solar system are going to be filled with horror stories. Sorry, not trying to discourage the practice, just telling it like it is. High mortality, short lives, more than a few Donner parties (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_Party).
Thing is, the excitement about being on Mars would wear off, dontcha think? Some time around year 12, perhaps, when it’s just home: a nasty, brutal home, with no significant change of scenery ever – not even new faces - and a life spent mostly in bunkers underground to avoid radiation.
I realize I sound pretty down on space exploration, but I’m really not. I think Nova Scotia’s great, but man I would not have wanted to be one of the first settlers here. I’m very glad someone else is interested in the miserable task of being first to land, though, because I really do want our species to populate the solar system and beyond.
I might be willing to live in space once we build some of these - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spacecolony3edit.jpeg - or these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Internal_view_of_the_Stanford_torus.jpg
Look at all that greenery! And the houses look really nice, like you know they’d have all stainless steel appliances and a wicked 3D printer that could instantly manufacture the latest Sony PS14 games.
Now look at one proposed Martian habitat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mars_Direct_Base_Art_001.png
Sorry, that’s not a fair representation. It might be more luxurious, like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mars-manned-mission-NASA-V5.jpg
After a lot of work, though, your digs would get bigger - http://www.designbuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/mars_base_habitat_vvx6e.jpg - and who knows, maybe one day you’d have this: http://cdn0.cosmosmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/20080529_mars.jpg
Good luck, Mr. Reyno. Better you than me.