In September, Elon Musk’s SpaceX corporation announced their Interplanetary Transport System plan to start colonizing the planet Mars. Vehicles carrying passengers could depart for the Red Planet, says SpaceX, as soon as 2024. SpaceX’s proposal is only the latest in a long line of similar plans, as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency, China, Japan and Russia have all announced plans to send humans to Mars. But, hold on a second. The plastics, the steel, the electronics, the computer programs may all be ready for a 60 million mile journey and many years functioning in a hostile environment, but what about the tissue, bone, brains and human minds? Are they ready for such a journey? Can they ever be? A new paper in the journal Space Policy explores the legal, political and psychological challenges involved in such a journey. Buzz host Brian Standing talks about these issues with Cognitive Scientist Konrad Szocik and process engineer Kateryna Lysenko-Ryba from the University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow, Poland.
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