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One project by ADAM HAWBOLDT Risks that would linger every step of the way.

The plan to settle Mars goes something like this: once the final 24 candidates are selected, an unmanned mission will be launched in 2018. By the time the first team of four astronauts start

plains Reed. “I don’t think until you’re put into training situations where you actually have to live that way can you know if you’ll be able to handle it.” If they can, and if they finish training, that’s when the journey begins. The flight from Earth to Mars will take about seven or eight months. Each team of four (they plan

…this is one of those sacrifices a person makes to fulfil their goal. justin semenoff

their historic journey, the process by which they’ll enter Mars’ atmosphere will already have been tested and performed eight times. But before all that — before the unmanned mission, before humans ever set foot on Mars — there’s training to be done. Eight years of training. During that time, they will be isolated in simulation facilities for a few months every two years in groups of four. They will learn how to live in close quarters. Learn new skills like electrical repairs, cultivating crops, and how to deal with medical and dental issues. “At any given point you can back out,” ex-

on sending six teams in total) will learn to exist aboard a spaceship for that long, eating dried and canned food. Wiping themselves down with wet towelettes in lieu of showering. There will be constant noise from ventilators, mandatory three-hour exercise routines a day, cramped living quarters. A tough way to spend a few months, to say the least. But not as tough as the job that’s ahead of them once they get to Mars. Up there, where the gravitational field is 38%, where there’s radiation, and month-long dust

storms and who knows what else what, the astronauts will have to build and maintain a settlement (inflatable components which contain bedrooms, working areas, a living room and a ‘plant production unit’). They’ll have to research and write reports. They’ll have to deal with severe isolation and the fact that there’s a damn good chance they’ll never see their loved ones again. This is a oneway ticket. At the moment we don’t have the technological know-how to bring them back. This isn’t lost on either Reed or Semenoff. They know what they could possibly be signing up for. Knew it all along. But it hasn’t deterred them. “You’d be leaving it all behind,” says Semenoff. “It weighs on a person’s mind. If someone says it doesn’t, they don’t know what a true friendship is or love. But this is one of those sacrifices a person makes to fulfil their goal. My goal is to see humanity progress and move towards trying to establish a footprint on Mars.” Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon ahawboldt@verbnews.com

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Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)  
Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)  

Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)

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