Aloha – It might make the most sense to send the characters from Dumb and Dumber to Mars than other alternatives. Considering a Reuters article today “A space odyssey: cosmic rays may damage the brains of astronauts”. It kicks off with a great paragraph, It may not be space debris, errant asteroids, supply shortages, thruster malfunctions or even the malevolent aliens envisioned in so many Hollywood films that thwart astronauts on any mission to Mars. It may be the ubiquitous galactic cosmic rays.
The Earth is protected by an electromagnetic field that diverts the sosmic waves in a manner that protects us Earthlings. Obviously it doesn’t protect all Earthlings… take politicians for example. I think somehow they must be exposed to lethal doses… probably tied to all that travel on the campaign trail. Poor Hilary, she probably has twice as much damage as anyone else. No excuse for Barrack.
In any case, the study suggests that two and half years that it would take to complete a mission to Mars would potentially result in blithering idiots returning unable to think or function. Ergo my recommendation that they send the characters from Dumb and Dumber, or virtually any politician from any party from any country on Earth.
Meanwhile, I have addressed this problem specifically in a new book I’m working on. This isn’t a plug (I plug the Demeter series all the time) as I’m at least a year away from finishing this new book.