Well… I almost applied to go to Mars today. Okay, not really, but the idea really is amazing! (You can apply here: http://applicants.mars-one.com/) Imagine being the first person to explore an entire new world. There was Columbus and Magellan and Darwin—people who made historic discoveries… and now there can be Bob from the check-out line at the supermarket! In all seriousness though, who doesn’t dream of being an explorer as a little kid? Now, a few lucky people potentially get to be the ultimate explorers.
Of course, who knows if they can even actually reach Mars alive… Apparently, radiation in space is a very big problem for long-term travel. There are a lot of these little things that the average person doesn’t think about because we all know about Star Wars and Star Trek and they make it look so easy to travel in space. Luckily though, we already know of a shield (outside of science fiction) that deflects and dissipates radiation! The Earth’s magnetic sphere does exactly that and it looks like scientists are close to replicating it on a small scale. Nature is a pretty intelligent thing—who knew? http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/27/world/europe/star-trek-shield