By now you might have heard that wealthy space tourist Dennis Tito plans to send two humans to Mars and back in 2018, preferably a married, middle-aged couple. Research suggests they survive best under extreme conditions here on earth, like Antarctic winters. The trip to Mars would be much, much worse than that: 500 days of each other’s uninterrupted company in the space the size of an RV. You don’t even get to get out and stretch your legs on Mars.
It's hard to think of anyone who's up for such a mission. The healthiest couples we know seem to maintain their sanity by getting out now and then, letting their significant other have the RV to themselves. Like, you think you and your boyfriend are so intimate because you’ll go to the bathroom while he’s in the shower? “The man and woman selected for [...] [the] mission to Mars will have to coat the walls of their spacecraft with their own faeces to block space radiation,” the Daily Mail reports.
Yes, with nowhere else for the lucky couple's solid waste to go, it will be well-served shielding them from deadly space radiation. Taber MacCallum, a member of the Inspiration team, explained to New Scientist:
"Dehydrate [solid and liquid waste] as much as possible, because we need to get the water back. [Ed note: For drinking.] Those solid waste products get put into a bag, put right back against the wall."
This is in addition to equally unpleasant predicted effects of total isolation like torpor, muscle atrophy, and a twenty-minute delay between you and your Earth therapist. (Also, no one knows what the sex situation is.) In short, qualifying for this mission will be equivalent to being named homecoming king and queen (or king and king, etc.) for all humanity. The only couple we can think of off the top of our heads to nominate is Beyoncé and Jay-Z, but
Blue Ivy needs we need them here on Earth too much.
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