English: Mission: STS-41-B Film Type: 70mm Tit...
This could not be me.

You’ve probably read about the mission to Mars that tens of thousands of Average Janes and Joes are applying for. In the year 2022, four of these people get to go on a rocketship. To Mars. Forever. No, really. They are signing up to die there (because something about the gravity, bone density change, and atmospheric pressure times some science, divided by I-skimmed-that-section means they can literally NEVER return to earth).

Volunteer for Mars Video

But, it’s still a pretty cool idea – and there’s probably a part of all of us that wanted to be an astronaut when we grew up. I think when I was ten, my plan was: after I become a marine biologist and archaeologist, I will be an astronaut, an olympic volleyball player, and then the first female president.

But then I watched “Apollo 13” and was way too stressed out to pursue rocket dreams. However, the idea of being part of a mission to colonize Mars, something I never thought would really occur in my lifetime, is superficially intriguing:

Imagine exploding (hopefully not literally) into space in a rocket as like a zillion horsepower. Feeling weightless (every chubby girl’s dream). Seeing things no one has ever seen before. Eating astronaut ice cream forever. Pushing lots of buttons and levers all the time (who doesn’t love pushing buttons!)

English: The thin line of Earth's atmosphere a...

It would be incredible to watch the sun and planets rise and set from space. To learn about the stars and be a part of their dance. To think of the people looking up at my new home planet from telescopes. To collect Mars rocks and data and be a part of something historical and important. Living in outer space? This is akin to discovering the wheel, or fire, or pizza.

But then I thought of all the things you would miss out on. There’s the obvious – getting married, having children, being a kickass grandma one day. And there are all the little things that I wonder about or know I would miss.

  • Never taking a bubble bath again. Also – how do I shave my legs?!
  • How would I even BEGIN to make the playlist long enough to last the next sixty years. Or pack enough books?! Or learn enough card games?!
  • I can haz this, right?
    I can haz this, right?

    Is there a bar on Mars? Mexican food? Frozen yogurt? I just need the essentials.

  • How comparable is the Mars dust to feeling the sand between my toes?
  • The four people they highlight in the Guardian article are all relatively young, relatively attractive people. What are the possibilities of intergalactic romance? I can’t imagine living the rest of my life without a hug and a solid makeout sess every now and then, at the least.
  • I don’t suppose we could bring pets?
  • One guy wants to bring his ukelele. I would get so good on my guitar on Mars. Bringing a new definition to “Space Jam.”
  • How would you pack for such an adventure? You would really need to watch your weight because your clothes would need to fit for forever.
  • Getting your period in space. Hm.
  • My love for attention would battle with the need for privacy. How big is this space station?

In the end, life as an actual Martian is probably not for me. I have a hard enough time on Earth. BUT whoever gets picked to do the intensive training to complete this mission gets to be the only person in the world to put “Space Cowboy” on their resume and mean it. That is pretty sweet.