To Mars or not to Mars

Dant Rambo

Dant Rambo's picture

As you’ve probably heard, we’re making a game about the first manned mission to Mars. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a whole lot of talk around the office about space. Of all the things we’ve discussed, there’s one topic we've returned to multiple times:

If you were given the chance to go to Mars, would you do it?

Now keep in mind that, were you to go to Mars, you'd likely end up staying on the planet for the rest of your life. You’d be playing an important role in one of the most amazing feats in human history, but you’d also have to say goodbye forever to all your loved ones. Tough one, right?

I figured it might be fun (for lack of a better word) to have some people on the Tharsis team write up their thoughts on the subject. Here’s what they had to say:

 Erin - Would I go to Mars… that's a tricky one.  When my son was born one of the first things I said was, "he's going to Mars."  Kinda weird for a first reflection about a newborn, but my family has always had a healthy dose of science fiction coursing through our veins.  It seems even more likely given that my brother has spent the last decade working on rockets that are intended to do just that: eventually ferry people to Mars. I don't personally feel compelled to hop on a ship to the red planet... so little green for our terrestrial eyes. Never getting to breathe outside of structures or space suits;  enduring the crazy month-long storms and the ever-present rust dusting the entire planet… It would be a lot to handle.  

However, if my kids were going, I would do everything I could to make the leap.  And I know I would never tire of jumping in the low gravity and seeing the geographic sights that dwarf our own. The Valles Marineris, the second longest rift in our galaxy, would definitely be on my to-do list. As well as a visit to Olympus Mons, a volcano three times taller than Mount Everest.  And what an amazing opportunity, to be a settler of a new land in an era that seems devoid of that experience.

So, to answer the question... I wouldn't go of my own accord, but I would surely find ways to entertain myself if I did.

Danny - As much as I would like to see other planets, I have not seen enough of this one to say goodbye to it quite yet. The regrettable part about a one-way journey is that you would come to appreciate Earth so much more once it was gone. You would be separated from society in a way that no one has experienced before, and as such it is hard to foresee your own reaction. 

The first colonists will be brave and determined people, but they are also putting the advancement of knowledge above their own life. They will be admired by many, but envied by few. For the time being I would rather explore these themes in my mind, yet in the years and decades hence I may well change my decision.

 Alex - A year and a half ago, my answer was an immediate and resounding yes. In fact, my wife and I have had multiple conversations about it as if it might actually happen someday. In NeuseTown, USA, the topic of going to Mars—even with no promise of return—is one that comes up at least bi-monthly.

Trying to explain the gut-wrenching yearning—nay, longing—to travel the stars and live on another planet to your wife, who quite rightly reminds you of how much there is on Earth that you've yet to experience is hard enough. But as two relatively smart and rational adults, I feel the conversation is manageable, if even only just so.

But a little over a year ago, my son appeared on the scene.

How do I justify leaving Earth forever when my time with him has only just begun?

If the opportunity actually presented itself, I think that ultimately I would still go. But now instead of having an "I can't wait" mentality, I hope that the opportunity doesn't present itself until my son is old enough to understand why I'm going, and even then I would try very hard to convince my family to come with me. 

Patrick - Landing on Mars would be the greatest accomplishment in human history, but I would never be one of the people to do it. I'm too selfish! Going to Mars means you never get to see your friends and family ever again, and it means no more video games EVER! That's not a life I want to live, especially when I can just watch a documentary about it on Netflix.

Mike - I would never have imagined that I would turn down a trip to Mars. It's the only thing I have wanted to do for, basically, my whole life. If asked this same question two years ago, I would not have hesitated a second. But some hecka magical shit happened to me two years ago and I will not be leaving Earth. I have a kid. That being said — if I could tape her to my chest like Kuato, then YOU GOT A DEAL!

Dant - Although I consider myself a curious person, I don’t think I could ever talk myself into making the trip to Mars. Being completely honest, the thought of going to space terrifies me. It would also be very depressing to have to say goodbye to all my loved ones.

I do hope that a manned mission to Mars occurs in my lifetime. And if (when?) it does, I know that I will be very appreciative of those who embark on it. It’s an incredible sacrifice for a person to make, even if the reward is something as amazing as being a part of one of the most incredible feats in human history.

Also, I’ve seen Ghosts of Mars. There’s no way in hell I’d go into space if I didn’t have Ice Cube with me.


ROBOTunderscore's picture
Submitted by ROBOTunderscore on Fri, 01/02/2015 - 6:37pm

game footage when?

Submitted by brianian0124 on Mon, 03/30/2015 - 5:16am

One thing I found out, when you throw something in mind just spread it don’t keep it afterwards. You'll forget sometimes.

Submitted by smith1 on Sat, 01/30/2016 - 3:34am

<p>Awesome article and very informative site i really like your site and i'm regular user of your blog.

Submitted by ArmandMosciski on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:49am

This is really crazy answers given by the people. I have read the reviews about mars. Everybody has dreamed to see the planet.