Admit it. You were tempted to fulfil your sci-fi fantasy – no, not that one – and apply to Mars One Foundation to become a Red Planet pioneer three years back.
That call saw 202,586 put their names forward to join a one-way trip starting in 2025.
Elon Musk this week undercut Mars One, promising he’d land 100 pioneers on the red rock in 2022 and promised to convey them on re-usable craft.
It’s a journey of 54.6 million kilometres – the point when Mars’ orbit is nearest to Earth and a distance Musk seems to think can be traversed in 80 days. Conventional wisdom has had the trip pegged at more than 200 days.
If you survive the flight – take-off, zero gravity, radiation, space sickness, debris in the low-Earth orbit and landing – then there’s Mars. More radiation, violent dust storms, accidents, illness – human and alien – and the possibility of complete and utter mental breakdown.
Survive that and if you do make it back from Mars, it won’t be for least two years as it is the only time Earth and Mars would again hit that 54.6 million km route.
For those left behind, Mars colonisation presents the best opportunity yet to finally be rid of that special somebody in your life.
Here's the deal: it's 2022 and 98 of the 100 seats on Musk's first ship are sold, leaving two. Who would you put in those final two seats? Pick one from our list below and nominate one (or two) of your own in the comments.