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August 14, 2013

Martians have guests

NORMAN — Although technology has advanced at an amazing speed, humans have yet to land on another planet. Unmanned craft have long explored the outer reaches of space, with the Mars Rover collecting incredible data on the red planet. It’s only a matter of time before people will follow.

Earth’s fascination with Mars began in science fiction. Novels and movies often depicted Martians as little green men coming to Earth to enslave or destroy its inhabitants. Rovers haven’t found any sign of life on Mars — yet. No Martians have landed on Earth — at least that we know of.

But now there’s a chance that some Earthlings themselves will soon become Martians.

More than 100,000 people have signed up for a chance to die on Mars, reports CNN. Technology is advanced enough to get them there — hopefully — but there’s little to no hope at this point of bringing them back.

A number of entrepreneurs are selling the opportunity to be among the first to colonize Mars, perhaps as soon as 2022. The Mars One project plans to be the first; others are in the design stages. And of course, the entire journey and colonization will be broadcast worldwide.

Naysayers claim humans cannot survive the journey, let alone harsh conditions on the planet, which might make the number of people willing to pay to die trying a little surprising. But, of course, those age 45 and younger have never known a world where space exploration and landing on the moon were considered impossible. Perhaps living on Mars isn’t so unbelievable after all.

— Valdosta, Ga., Daily Times

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