Today was our last Sunday on sMars. In less than a week, the hatch will open and the six of us will rejoin the world. In some (obvious) ways, we never left. In many ways, we'll be aliens among our own kind.
After nearly a year of study and collaboration between the Inspiration Mars Foundation and some of the best and brightest minds in the space industry, the most logical systems architecture for a Mars flyby mission has become crystal clear.
No one can dispute that Mars One intends to send the first humans to Mars, or that these humans will die there, because there are no plans to bring them back to Earth. But does a one-way mission to a planet where we might actually be able to survive constitute a suicide mission?
The 472 women, including me, who have advanced to what Mars One calls Round Two have a reasonable expectation of being among the first to colonize Mars. It's even conceivable that I could be the one to take the sure-to-become-iconic first footstep onto the surface of the red planet.
If we can achieve Mars without a major increase in budget, it would be fiscally irresponsible not to commit. We have made a long-term investment in space. Let's make the most effective use of taxpayer and private dollars and accomplish something bold and inspiring for the nation and the world.