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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Mars has women — and men, for that matter — as more than 200,000 of them have applied to colonize the Red Planet through the Mars One Astronaut Selection Program, aiming to turn the fourth rock from the sun into the peaceful paradise we’ve made of our own planet.
What is Mars One, you may ask if you are still reading?
“Mars One is a not-for-profit organization whose intent is to establish a human settlement on Mars through the integration of existing, readily available technologies from industry leaders world-wide,” the organization said in a press release.
“Unique in its approach, Mars One intends to fund this decade-long endeavor by involving the whole world as the audience of an interactive, televised broadcast of every aspect of this mission, from launch to landing to living on Mars.”
So, it’s basically “Big Brother in Space” or “Honey Boo Boo Goes to Mars” if her application is accepted.
And it’s getting some attention. In addition to the 202,586 people from 140 or so countries who applied by the September deadline to be future Martians, Interplanetary Media Group — the Netherlands-based Mars One “daughter company” — has received investments from one firm in their home country and another in South Africa.
Despite, the “not-for-profit” status, I smell money here — I mean I recognize the incredible scientific possibility to expand our knowledge of the universe.
That’s why I will soon establish a hopefully for-profit foundation and launch Venus Two (our motto: “Twice as Good as Mars One”), whose intent is to establish a human settlement on Venus, which Wikipedia tells me is even closer to Earth than Mars.
As chairman of this foundation, I will oversee the developmental and marketing stages, which should take no more than 35 to 40 years (I want to do this thing right) while drawing a modest, mid-range six-figure salary .
Let’s begin this monumental scientific endeavor with what is known on the interwebs as a FAQ, or frequently asked questions.
Q: Isn’t this just one in a long line of your harebrained money-making schemes (monkey butler rental agency, bullet-proof underwear, drive-thru dentist office, etc.) ?
A: Next question, please.
Q: Why Venus?
A: Because some Dutch not-for-profit slipped off its wooden shoes, snuck behind my back and stole the Mars idea right out from under me. On the plus side, if it’s true that “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” our Venusian bathrooms will be much cleaner.
Q: Isn’t Venus inhospitable to humans, with an atmosphere of more than 96 percent carbon dioxide, an atmospheric pressure 92 times that of Earth’s and a mean surface temperature of 863 degrees Fahrenheit?
A: Someone’s been reading Wikipedia again. Trust me, it will work out fine. This effort will be spearheaded by some of the top aerospace engineers recently laid off from NASA. We’ve got a line on leftover FEMA trailers to construct adequate shelter and intend to acquire the best equipment money can buy on eBay.
Q: But aren’t there some dangers inherent with space exploration no matter how well prepared and funded the effort?
A: Sure. If movies have taught us anything, it’s that most space flights have at least one astronaut whose face is ripped off by a slimy alien creature, but, in the end, that creature is defeated or at least subdued until the sequel.
Q: Will you take corporate investments?
A: Darn tootin’. We range from the $1 billion Gold Level (I’m looking at you, Warren Buffett) to the $50 Tarnished Brass Level (I have a tentative commitment from Cousin Junior’s Small-Engine Repair and Smoke Shop).
Q: What are the requirements to sign up for Venus 2 as an astronaut and take part in this monumental scientific endeavor event?
A: A $50 application fee. Make checks payable to “cash.”
Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, NC and a humor columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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