I saw a comment by Jim Davis over on NASASpaceflight.com that made me want to do a poll about real attitudes towards Mars colonization. Let me give some background thoughts, the questions, then some rules for comments.
First off, Jim’s goal here was to ask people questions that really delve into how likely they actually would be to do something like one-way Mars colonization, especially if the situation isn’t exactly a paradise. He wanted someone to do a scientific poll, and while I’d like that too, I don’t have the money to do so myself. But I think if we do this right, we can at least get some relevant data, even without doing truly random sampling. But more on that after the questions.
Here are the questions:
- Would you be willing to make a one way trip to Mars if it meant leaving behind wife and children?
- Would you be willing to make a one way trip to Mars if it meant working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week? 12 hours? 8 hours?
- Would you be willing to make a one way trip to Mars if the annual mortality rate was 50%? 25%? 10%?
- Would you be willing to make a one way trip to Mars if the level of privacy were equivalent to a subway car? A submarine? Antarctic research station?
- Would you be willing to make a one way trip to Mars if it was just yourself? 10 other people? 100 other people?
- Would you be willing to make a one way trip to Mars if it meant eating food indefinitely equivalent to combat rations? TV dinners? School cafeteria?
- Would you be willing to make a one way trip to Mars if there were significantly more people of your own gender than the other? Vice versa?
And here are some “control” questions:
- What is the longest period of time you have ever been by yourself? Separated from wife and children? Away from civilization?
- What are the longest hours you’ve ever worked? How long did you work these hours? How long would you have been willing to work these hours?
- What’s the most dangerous work you’ve ever done? What’s the most dangerous activity you normally engage in?
- What’s the lowest level of privacy you’ve ever experienced? For how long?
- What’s the most bland diet you’ve ever experienced? For how long?
- Have you ever had to work for/with someone you intensely disliked? How long did this go on?
- Have you ever had to live with someone you intensely disliked? How long did this go on?
Anyhow, here are the rules. All comments *must* include an answer to these questions, with the number of the questions (both the original questions and control questions). You can suggest additional questions, or make other comments as well, but you have to answer the questions first. Use anonymity if you don’t feel comfortable answering under your own name. You also should mention where you heard about this poll from. Any comments that break these rules are likely to get deleted outright.
Also, to make this more valid, the wider this can be passed around, the better. So, if you think this is a good poll, tell friends about it. Especially friends/blogs outside the traditional alt.space crowd. I’d be interested in seeing it linked to both by technology blogs as well as right-wing, left-wing, and/or libertarian sites as well. The more answers we get, the more likely this poll will actually be even remotely useful. It’s also important to remember that it’s ok if most of the answers are variations on “heck no!” That shouldn’t be a huge surprise, but it would be interesting to get a wide enough sample to start seeing something closer to at least the opinion of tech-savvy people in general.
If this works out, I’ll do a poll like this on lunar colonization next.