Local couple, Hesa and Ima Goner of Joker, were
chosen last Wednesday as one of 10 couples throughout the country to be
finalists in the Google/ Yahoo-sponsored trip to the planet Mars.
Couples from all over the country have been
submitting videos, biographies, letters of recommendation, medical
histories and psychological profiles since last October to be in
the running to be the first man and woman to step foot on the red
planet, and the first humans to purposely give their lives to the
promise of space exploration.
According to Jeff Besos, who is in charge of
selecting the historic couple, they have received more than 350,000
applications to date.
Thousands of applications were rejected
immediately, when it was noticed that some couples’ applications were
only volunteering the other person to make the trip.
“That is not what we are looking for,” said Besos,
“The perfect couple would be one that has been together for decades
without strife. This trip is going to be like spending four years locked
up, with only one other person, in a ship that will have a living space
smaller than a normal family room.”
He stated that, due to the logistics involved in
sending two people to Mars and re-turning them to Earth, an elderly
couple will be chosen to make a one-way trip.
“We have received hundreds of applications from
older couples offering to make the trip to Mars and remaining there for
eternity,” said Besos.
While this would definitely save billions of
dollars, it could create a public relations night-mare.
“What if they get there and change their mind about
staying there? There would be absolutely nothing that could be done
about it. The entire world would have to watch as the scene played out
to the bitter end. The crew is aware of the one-way nature of this trip,
but wish to make history with the end of their life.”
The interplanetary spaceship, which has yet to be
named, will consist of six modules.
The largest will be the thruster module. It will
contain 180,000 gallons of water, which will be used for both thrust and
oxygen, as well as water for cooling and hydration. Since water is made
up of two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen, a fuel cell will used
to generate power for the craft by separating the molecules.
Hydrogen will be used to provide thrust at
one-quarter of earth’s gravity (1/4 gee) for the first half of the trip
and the same after turnaround of one-quarter gee for braking until orbit
insertion around Mars.
The next section is the hydroponics, or garden
module "This is one of the most important parts of the mission,” said
Besos. “This is where plants will grow under natural sunlight, beneath
artificial sapphire glass, providing a way to remove carbon dioxide from
the air and a touch of natural greenery and fresh vegetables to eat.
“It will also be the only place one person can be
where the other is not. The bathroom will also be located in this
section for purposes of recycling. Except for an automatic airlock door,
there won’t be any way to lock yourself in, or any door to slam.”
The living section, or home, is 15 feet by 43 feet.
It contains the sleeping area, lounging area, and library, which is
digital, with over 100,000 books and movies on file.
Another section is the research module. This
contains some 750 different experiments that the team will carry out
during the mission, to both further science and help occupy some of the
time to reduce the effects of boredom.
The final section is the descent module. During the
final two weeks of the mission’s approach to Mars, the crew will be
loading most of the plant life into the descent module to provide life
support to the crew for as long as possible. It is thought that the crew
might have supplies to last for as long as six months.
and ABC are negotiating for the contract to broadcast the mission from
start to finish.
When asked why they would volunteer for such a
mission as this, with no hope of return, the Goners said, “We would do
anything to get away from the kids.”