03/09/2016

[Newspaper Column] Mars

Each week the Romford Recorder has the Steve Allen column. If you're in the Romford area you can buy the newspaper every Friday, or follow @mrstevenallen to see the columns on Twitter. You can also read the archive of past ones, which can be found here.



You can click the image to zoom in on the paper, or read the column below.


Take a look around the next time you’re walking down the shops. You will see people looking at their mobile phones ignoring the world around them. It turns out they may be training for space flight.

NASA just finished a year long study where they locked some volunteers in a building and watched how they coped with isolation. It’s like a scientific version of Celebrity Big Brother but the difference with this is, at least someone was watching.

The intrepid implorers – I assume that’s the indoor version of an explorer. They might not like being called implorers but beggars can’t be choosers – were locked up for a year in Hawaii. We wouldn’t do that research over here. We’d lock them up for a year but probably let them out after a month for good behaviour.

They have come back out now and will probably spend the next few weeks catching up on things they’ve recorded. And think of all the news they’ve missed. Although catching up with the last year’s news is sadly lots of celebrity obituaries.

They were researching what would happen to humans if they lived on Mars. The planet. It wasn’t testing high sugar diets. If we were to colonise the Red Planet we’d be unable to go out and we would have to communicate only via electronic devices.

It’s an odd feeling when a multi-million dollar research project by NASA sounds like your social life.

If not going out and using the internet is the future of space travel I’m an astronaut. The activities we think young people do too much could be exactly the skills they need for the future multi-planet life.

And if we go to Mars and find the place infested with Pokemon all of that training will finally pay off.

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