Suiting up for Mars

In most juvenile science fiction novels of the 50s and 60s the most advantageous way to get into space was to be the children of scientists.  Other good ways to become an astronaut included:  (1) being kidnapped by aliens, (2) find a space ship (not quite as hard as winning the lottery apparently), (3) being really good at video games.  Oh-oh, I could be in trouble, some of those factor into the Orions Spur series.  Shaking it off.  If we go back to the early 20th century it could be because you’re an amazing warrior (John Carter).  Now we’re into early recruitment for the Mars mission, set sometime in the next twenty years.  So what’s the right stuff?

  1. Not too tall, not too short – If you’re under 5’2″  you’re out of luck and if you’re over 6’2″ its a no go.  Now I understand the too tall piece.  Some of those seats make Jet Blue seats look comfortable, and for six months at a time.  I don’t want the person next to me being 6’6″ tall and 550 pounds, especially if I have a center seat.  On the other hand I can see some clear advantages to very short, or small people being able to get into tight spots for repairs.  I think they might have a case for discrimination on this one.
  2. People with bi-polar disorder, multiple personality, schizophrenia, tendency to go nuts in small spaces for extended periods of time, serial killers, and people with depression and suicidal thoughts need not apply.  This is an interesting, almost problematic condition.  After all, spending six months inside the equivalent of a tree house box will drive all participants to one or more of the above.  It might make sense to make these disorders a requirement in advance.
  3. Should have 20/20 vision.  This could also be problematic as prolonged space travel currently will result in deteriorating vision.
  4. Must be free of drug, alcohol, or tobacco dependency.  Really?  This could be the ultimate Betty Ford Clinic experience.
  5. Applicants can come from any country in the world as long as they speak English with an American, or in special cases an English or Australian accent.  No off-world, illegal aliens will be accepted.
  6. Must have a ‘can do’ attitude.  Imagine traveling 200 million miles with Eeyore, everyone would again fall victim to #2 above.
  7. Must be adaptable (no applicants from the KKK, ISIS, or the Nazi party allowed)
  8. Must be curious.  Really?  Someone who is not curious is applying for this?
  9. Ability to trust.  That takes out survivors of a bad relationship
  10. Creative and resourceful.  Finally something for left handed people.
  11. Must be 18 years or older to apply

There you have it.  I’m considering applying as I meet most of the requirements.  Of course I’ll be in my 80s by launch time.



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