Man on Mars

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Omai's picture
Man on Mars

Hello scientists.

I found this article about manned missions to Mars fascinating. I moderate the bioethics section of Scientist Solutions, so any and all ethical questions are interesting. This article purports that a manned mission to Mars is unachievably expensive, partially due to the fact that to bring said astronaut home would more then double the cost (fuel, take off . . .). The author asks the question of whether it is ethical as a society to ask a person to undertake a mission on which there is no return. New surveys brought up in the article would suggest that a large number of scientists are willing to take that plunge. It is noble of them to say that, and I do believe there would be a long list of people ready to go. Do you think there would be a political or public outcry against such a mission?

This also can tie in to an ethical question of job responsibility for the public good. We would count on our health care workers to put thier lives at risk in treatment of infectious disease (a pandemic). Can we also demand of our astronauts to give up their lives in service to a greater good?

Just some thoughts. I welcome any responses.


Arvind Singh Pundir
Arvind Singh Pundir's picture
I think it will be safe to

I think it will be safe to send and unmanned mission it can also serve the purpose of visit to MARS and explore there, as it seems unethical to send a human being at a destination where you are confirm is life threatning, as you are exploring space for the better of mankind , but if the destination is threat to mankind itself then whats the use for that , we have seen successful unmanned missions  in past so why not try that only, with improved skills if not now  you can wait till  you are capable of that ...........penny .thoughts from my 3 pounds(approx) tissue..............(brain)

Jason King
Jason King's picture
I wonder whether landing a

I wonder whether landing a man on the surface of Mars is really neccesary. Would be almost as good to orbit Mars and send down  mini probes to take samples etc. These would either rely data or return whole to the orbiting craft, which would then head home (journey time about 9 months, each way). Landing on the surface is probably more important for national pride than scientific learning.

Stephannie Baker
Stephannie Baker's picture
Mars mission

Yes, I totally agree that we can carry out an unmanned mission instead of risking lives of astronauts and spending huge amount of money. Carrying out a man on mars mission after finding some significant information, something like water on mars, makes more sense. When we have had sent probes before and have extracted inormation from that, it seems logical to carry out that until some legit news comes in.