You may have heard of a new initiative to send a crewed vessel to Mars, funded privately by the Inspiration Mars Foundation. The intention is to send a couple on a 501 day voyage to fly by the surface of Mars in 2018.
We want to be that couple.
We have a unique combination of experience and interests which we believe make us the ideal candidates for this voyage.
The technical challenges of a space voyage are all something that whoever crews the mission will have to learn. No one has done this before; there is no direct experience here. We think the most challenging parts of this voyage are the solitude, the reliance on each other and the limited living conditions. These are areas where we not only have extensive experience, but they are things we actually enjoy.
- We have been together as a couple of over 17 years, and have known each other for more half our lives. For over five of those years we have lived aboard our 14m sailboat, often alone with each other for weeks.
- We are close friends with dozens of other couples who sail the oceans, and have met hundreds. Of them we are the only ones we know who wish we had a smaller boat and are among the few who rarely experience morale problems from being in close contact for weeks on end.
- We are less interested in visiting shore than any other sailors we have ever met. We have anchored off many islands where we have not gone ashore. If it weren’t for our desire to sleep in a flat anchorage, we would go right on by many ports. Flying by Mars in a craft that doesn’t roll gunwale to gunwale sounds great.
- We have over 20,000 nautical miles of sea time together, with only each other as crew. We are accustomed to being awake and asleep in shifts.
- We do not get seasick, or other motion sickness.
- At sea there is nowhere to go if conditions become difficult, and there’s no guarantee that anyone will come and get you if things go wrong. We know how to manage on our own, and how to be self-reliant.
- We have had to make repairs in remote locations with minimal equipment, even underway. We both know how to operate and repair all systems on board. We understand that being an explorer involves doing your own septic plumbing, for instance, with limited supplies and tools. We’ve done it before, and won’t be upset to do it again.
- Our travels have taken us on ocean voyages where we relied solely on each other for survival. We know how to be alone together in difficult circumstances, in the midst of incredibly awe-inspiring experiences as well as day after day of the same view. We are never bored together.
- We have lived with minimal power, heavily rationed water and limited provisions. We know how to manage our usage of supplies.
- We are both curious and adept with mechanical systems, and we love to learn new things.
- We are fit and healthy enough to manage a long term space voyage.
- We have national health care, and so won’t be a life-long burden on the foundation if we lose our good health due to the journey.
- As preparation for our sea voyaging lifestyle, we have arranged our lives so that we do not need consistent employment to support ourselves. It would be possible for us to set aside several years to train for a space mission prior to launch.
- We completely understand that voyaging has inherent risks. We have no children or other dependents to complicate any misfortune. We accept that we might not return.
- We have both fascinated by space our whole lives and are inveterate explorers. Going to space would be a dream come true – well worth risk or hardship.